Bulovic Group: Sarah Paydavosi

  1. Sarah Paydavosi, EECS PhD candidate in her office with members of the Bulovic Group at MIT.
    Sarah Paydavosi, EECS PhD candidate in her office with members of the Bulovic Group at MIT.
  2. Figure 1. We inject electrons and holes into organic molecules with a biased conductive atomic force microscopy tip. KFM image shows charged areas written into a molecular layer.
    Figure 1. We inject electrons and holes into organic molecules with a biased conductive atomic force microscopy tip. KFM image shows charged areas written into a molecular layer.
  3. Figure 2. Molecular organic materials exhibit fascinating electronic properties that motivate their hybridization with traditional silicon-based memory devices in order to continue memory scaling.
    Figure 2. Molecular organic materials exhibit fascinating electronic properties that motivate their hybridization with traditional silicon-based memory devices in order to continue memory scaling.
  4. Figure 3. SEM image of nickel particles embedded in a silicone. Conductivity of the composite will vary by 12 orders of magnitude over a 40% strain. Such composites conduct via tunneling from particle to particle, and the tunneling currents grow exponentially as the particles become closer together.
    Figure 3. SEM image of nickel particles embedded in a silicone. Conductivity of the composite will vary by 12 orders of magnitude over a 40% strain. Such composites conduct via tunneling from particle to particle, and the tunneling currents grow exponentially as the particles become closer together.
  5. Sarah Paydavosi, EECS PhD candidate in the Bulovic ONE-Lab
    Sarah Paydavosi, EECS PhD candidate in the Bulovic ONE-Lab

Meet Sarah Paydavosi, PhD candidate with the Bulovic Group, in the ONE Lab at MIT.

Sarah, could you describe the path that led you to become a member of Prof. Bulovic’s group and what do you hope to do beyond?

Sarah Paydavosi:
“During my Master study in Thin-Film Research Laboratories at University of Tehran, while working on low temperature crystallization of a-Si and fabrication of thin film transistors on plastic, I got familiar with organic electronics. Organic electronics is an active area of research due to its application in the low-cost manufacture of lightweight, large-area electronic devices and solar cells. Molecules and polymers exhibit fascinating optical and electronic properties. They can be tailored for specific properties and are compatible with inorganic materials that motivate their hybridization with traditional silicon based electronics in order to achieve novel functionalities.

I joined Prof. Bulovic’s group as a Ph.D. candidate in 2008. I’ve been fascinated by the diversity of Prof. Bulovic’s group which consists of scientists and engineers from different departments, with different backgrounds and interests, who are working on different projects like organic and quantum dot LEDs, solar cells, photovoltaics, lasers, organic thin film transistors, memories and MEMS. Joining the Laboratory of Organic and Nanostructured Electronics (ONE Lab) has been a great opportunity. Prof. Bulovic is a helpful and friendly advisor. I also have wonderful colleagues who all make this group a great place for me to work and learn.”

It sounds like you have several interesting projects in the ONE Lab. Could you describe these projects?

Sarah Paydavosi:
“Traditional silicon based electronics is facing fundamental limits in order to scale the size and improve the performance of the devices. My current work focuses on the fabrication of high storage capacity memory cells by integrating ~1nm in size organic molecules in flash memory devices. We test charge retention properties of molecular films by injecting electrons and holes via a biased conductive atomic force microscopy (AFM) tip into molecules comprising the thin films. Although the spacing between these molecules is less than one nanometer, because of the highly localized molecular electron wavefunctions, they act like separated charge storage nodes. Molecular flash memory would provide the advantage of a uniform set of identical nano-structured charge storage elements with high molecular area densities (e.g. 1 × 10^14 cm^-2 ) which can result in several-fold higher density of charge-storage sites as compared to other types of memory devices such as quantum dot and SONOS devices.

In addition to this project, I’m working on a low-loss squeezable MEMS electronic switch in collaboration with Prof. Jeffrey Lang’s group. It has been known for several decades that polymers doped with conducting particles, for example silicones-nickel nano-particles, will exhibit a dramatically decreasing resistivity as the polymer is compressed. Such composites conduct via tunneling from particle to particle and the tunneling currents grow exponentially as the particles become closer together. In this study we use the composites as the active element in an electronically-controlled switch. Some advantages of the squeezable relay are that it doesn’t employ silicon, which is an expensive substrate, and it can be fabricated through printing or photolithography on flexible substrates with a very large on-to-off conduction ratio. It can exhibit a voltage-controlled conduction with a gain greater than 1 decade per 60 mV, as is fundamental for silicon-based semiconductor switches.”

What is the ideal future research you would like to conduct and would it relate to energy or another broad area?

Sarah Paydavosi:
“As a researcher, I like to start from a novel idea which might look impossible at the beginning. Then, by using physics, my fabrication and engineering experience, and collaboration with knowledgeable people, I strive to turn the idea into a functional reality.

At this time, I’m leaning toward BioMEMs for future research in hopes of helping patients and curing diseases.”

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