[ASC-list] Free science talk, Melbourne, Wed 18th June, 8:00pm

David Vaux D.Vaux at latrobe.edu.au
Tue Jun 10 22:50:42 UTC 2008

ANZAAS Vic Science Talk, Free, all welcome (booking not needed)
Free pizza and drinks after the talk

Casey Plaza Theatre, Bowen Street, RMIT University

Wednesday 18th June 2008, at 8 pm

Professor Andrew Holmes FTSE FAA FRS
Federation Fellow, Bio21 University of Melbourne

Seeing the Light with Polymers

     Most of us regard polymers (plastics) as being useful as a lightweight
replacement for heavier structural materials such as steel and wood. They
are traditionally used as insulators to prevent electric shock from a live
electrical conductor. It was therefore something of a surprise to the
polymer community when Heeger, MacDiarmid and Shirakawa discovered that
certain polymers could be made to conduct an electrical current almost as
efficiently as metallic copper. They were awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize in
Chemistry for this work

This lecture is concerned with using polymers as semiconductors to emit
light. It will illustrate how a thin film of a fluorescent polymer can emit
light when sandwiched between charged electrodes. It is now possible to make
light emitting polymers that emit light over the range of the primary
colours of the visible spectrum, and to apply this technology to flat panel
display (TV and laptop) devices. The lecture will illustrate the progress in
the field since the original discovery in 1989 and developments that have
taken place to commercialise the technology.

The reverse process of generating an electrical current by shining light on
such plastics offers the opportunity of developing cheap plastic solar
cells. The lecture will conclude with a description of progress in this

***We are pleased to acknowledge the support by CSL and RMIT Universty for
the ANZAAS Melbourne science talks series***

Further Info:
Peter Kemeny:  Tel: 0409 028 165
                email peter.kemenyATgmail.com


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