Research

Overview

By 2050, the population of people over the age of 65 will double, reaching 1.2 billion in a huge global age demographics shift. The acquisition and use of information, obtained via real-time and wearable technologies, will greatly enhance the quality and efficiency of medical care.

Multifunctional skin-interfaced electronics is one of the most anticipated medical Internet of Things (IoT) technologies that enables non-invasive collection of high-quality data related to biological activity. This is realized thanks to their conformal coverage of our body, e.g. skin, eyes, organs, and more. Building on these data and recent advances in deep learning, artificial intelligence-based bioimaging, diagnosis, and therapy will be performed with higher accuracy and speed than ever before.

To address the challenge of aging and healthcare, our group aims to advance knowledge and technology through the lens of material innovation, advanced spectroscopy, and engineering of soft bio-electronics.


New Materials

The market size of the soft electronics will grow from $40 billion in 2020 to $74 billion in 2030. Yet, remarkably, this field is still in its infancy.

The future generation of electronics relies on innovative materials designs. New semiconductors are urgently needed to enable IoT based on skin-like electronics, human-machine interface, and soft robotics. These semiconductors will need to be: 1) mechanically soft and stretchable, 2) optically responsive to a broad spectrum of light, and 3) electrically conductive. Today, there is no single materials system that meets these requirements simultaneously.

Our group focuses on the innovative design of hybrid semiconducting materials with superior and unprecedented properties. Our goal is to widen the property space of soft semiconductors for next generation bio-electronics.

Read More:

The rise of plastic bioelectronics, Nature, T. Someya, Z. Bao, and G. Malliaras.

Building devices from colloidal quantum dots, Science, C. Kagan, E. Lifshitz, E. H. Sargent, and D. Talapin.

Organic Electronics for a Better Tomorrow: Innovation, Accessibility, Sustainability


Spectroscopy

Spectroscopy centers around light-matter interaction. From the process of absorption, emission, or diffraction of light, we can develop deep understandings of new material systems. Through the light, we can “see” the nature of matter—its structural, electronic, and chemical configurations—in fine detail (nm) with ultrafast temporal resolution (fs).

We employ a variety of advanced spectroscopic techniques to study complex systems of soft semiconductors, including static and transient photoluminescence/absorption; X-ray absorption /diffraction; neutron scattering).

Through building structure-property relationships, we aim to provide guidelines to the future rational design of the soft semiconducting materials with superior properties.

Read More:

Electron–phonon Interaction in Efficient Perovskite Blue Emitters, Nature Materials, X. Gong, O. Voznyy, A. Jain, … E. H. Sargent

Quantum-dot-in-perovskite Solids, Nature, Z. Ning*, X. Gong*, R. Comin*, … E. H. Sargent

Ultrafast Science at UMich


Bio-electronics

Bio-electronics features capabilities integrating biological systems. Wearable bio-electronics has drawn increasing attention for its potential in bio-sensing, diagnosis, and therapy. The rise of wearable bio-electronics and personalized sensing technology is reshaping healthcare.

One prominent example of wearable bio-electronics is the pulse oximeter--a device that measures the blood oxygen level by probing changes of light absorption in blood.

Our group seeks to transform materials into wearable bio-electronics. The ultimate goal of this research program is to contribute to advancing in in-vivo bio-imaging and diagnosis, disease treatment, agriculture, soft robotics, and beyond.

Read More:

Wearable Bioelectronics: Chemistry, Materials, Devices, and Systems, Accounts of Chemical Research, J. Rogers, Z. Bao, and T. Lee

Is the future of wearable electronics fully integrated e-skins, inSPIREd talk, X. Gong