My research focuses on biopolymers and their application in materials science. Biopolymeric materials are held together by many weak interactions, and this means that interesting materials can be formed by self-assembly processes. By either utilizing functionality present in the biopolymer (e.g. redox active functional groups) or adding functionality (e.g. light emitting molecules) new materials can be developed for applications in for example organic electronics or photonics.
A special focus is on development of protein materials. Many proteins can self-assemble into nanofibrils that in turn can form many types of interesting materials including thin films, liquid crystalline phases, hydrogels, and aerogels. The nanofibrils contain structural elements that helps to organize molecules at the nano-scale. This phenomenon can be combined with the ability of fibrils to form ordered phases at the macroscopic scale, resulting in materials that may show emergent properties resulting from structural organization.
In contrast with their complex chemistry and rich physical behavior, the practical procedures for preparing such materials are often amazingly simple, being more reminiscent of cooking than advanced high-tech manufacturing. As many proteins can be obtained at low cost, for example from industrial waste streams or side products during food production, this may provide opportunities for low-cost fabrication of materials from sustainable raw materials. If value can be added to such materials through functionalization relatively advanced materials can be prepared at low-cost. Such materials may thus be future biodegradable materials that complements or replaces current materials based on synthetic plastics. We are currently investigating such materials for applications as photonic materials, novel energy sources, and materials for water purification.
I am head of the Electronic and Photonic Materials division, and head of the Biomolecular and Organic Electronics unit. I obtained my PhD degree in Organic Chemistry from Stockholm University in 2004, followed by postdoctoral studies at The University of Tokyo, investigating carbonaceous materials. I joined Linköping University in 2008 and became docent in Applied Physics in 2011.
I take part in teaching related to materials science and organic chemistry. I am examiner for courses in Condensed Soft Matter Physics (TFYA37) and Organic Chemistry (8BKG26 at the Faculty of Medicine and Health Science) and also do teaching on courses in Microsystems and Nanobiology (TFYA37) as well as Materials and Nanotechnology (TFYA98).