The Laboratory of Organic Electronics is growing – just like the trees.

The Laboratory of Organic Electronics at Campus Norrköping, is expanding and recruiting seven doctoral students and two international postdocs to work at the Wallenberg Wood Science Center, WWSC.

Daniela Parker, PhD-student at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics. Thor Balkhed

The Wallenberg Wood Science Center, WWSC, is a research centre including researchers from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), the Chalmers University of Technology and Linköping University. It is funded by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and by the hosting universities.

“The first phase of the WWSC has been run by KTH and Chalmers, and they wanted to broaden research scopes before starting the second phase. They have chosen to incorporate our research on cellulose and other biopolymers from the forest and its use in electronics, energy applications and bioelectronics, something that we are very delighted and grateful for. We take on the task with great humbleness”, says Magnus Berggren, professor of organic electronics and the director of the Laboratory of Organic Electronics, LOE.

Forestry materials and electronics

The new co-workers will be distributed among the different divisions in the laboratory, and will bring the personnel here to more than 100. Biopolymers from forestry material and their use in electronics, electrical applications and in bioelectronics will form the core of the work, but topics to be studied range from cellulose robots and electronic plants to paper that can function as water purifier and paper fuel cells.

“This initiative will form a programme with great width in which we can conduct not only high-risk projects but also long-term and systematic research. Forest-derived biopolymers have not been extensively used so far, but many of them have promising properties. Such materials are both renewable and recyclable”, says Magnus Berggren.

Some of those who work with printed electronics at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics are already working with cellulose-based electronics, under the leadership of Isak Engquist.

“We haven’t previously recruited so many co-workers in one part of the project – it will be an exciting challenge. They must feel a sense of belonging to us here at LOE, but they are also part of a graduate school within WWSC, together with doctoral students at Chalmers and KTH”, he says.

Multidisciplinary environment

Isak Engquist is looking for new co-workers with expertise in polymer chemistry and materials physics. Ideally, he would like folk who also have experience in organic electronics. The research at the Laboratory of Organic Electronics is highly multidisciplinary, with expertise in physics, chemistry, electronics, biology, and theoretical modelling.

Magnus Berggren sees many advantages in the extended collaboration.

“Sweden has not only a strong basis in high-tech industries, but also large and healthy forestry industry. This opens the way for new multidisciplinary advances. Research initiatives such as the WWSC, financed by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, also bring together researchers from different universities that have previously been very insular. I’m really looking forward to collaborating with Chalmers and KTH”, he says.

WWSC
The Wallenberg Wood Science Center, WWSC, which will run until 2028, has received up to SEK 400 million from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. The Royal Institute of Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, and Linköping University are participating in the centre, together with actors from the forestry industry.
It aims to create knowledge and develop technology based on biopolymers derived from wood.

WWSC

The Wallenberg Wood Science Center, WWSC, which will run until 2028, has received up to SEK 400 million from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation. The Royal Institute of Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, and Linköping University are participating in the centre, together with actors from the forestry industry.
It aims to create knowledge and develop technology based on biopolymers derived from wood.

Translation George Farrants

 


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