INSPIRE Grant Report by Postdoc Tao Zhang, University of Cambridge, UK

Dr. Tao Zhang, Chair for Molecular Functional Materials (Prof. Xinliang Feng), was awarded a cfaed INSPIRE Grant within the 2018 call, for a research stay at the University of Cambridge from August 31st 2018 to November 30th 2018.

Dr. Zhang has developed a surfactant-monolayer assisted air-water interfacial synthesis method to fabricate large area 2D polyaniline crystalline film with controlled thickness and conductivity (Nat. Commun. 10, 4225, 2019). In this project, in collaborating with Prof. Sirringhaus’ group (Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge) holding distinguished physicists and specialized equipments for charge transport studies, they planned to elucidate the mechanism of charge transport in the new state of 2D polyaniline, in comparison to classical linear one, and to probe the effect of dopants on their charge transfer properties.

In the three months’ research stay in Prof. Sirringhaus’ group in Cambridge, I was given full access to their research facilities, instruments, seminars and activities. In addition, a PhD student (Chen) was kindly sent by Prof. Sirringhaus to help me to prepare Hall devices on my 2D polyaniline films that were fabricated in Dresden. After many tries of different recipes, we were finally able to prepare >30 successful devices and characterize their conductivities and temperature dependences, and preliminary results were obtained. However, three months are still too short to perform more experiments and finish the topic. Anyway, the collaboration between the two groups never stops, and more collaborations and experiments were initiated because of this research exchange, and co-authored manuscript is in preparation. Besides research, I am so happy to meet many nice and talented colleagues in Prof. Sirringhaus’ group and Cavendish lab, and it’s my pleasure to work with them. Last but now least, I greatly appreciate cfaed for giving me the grant to support this research stay, and Prof. Sirringhaus for giving me the valuable opportunity to work in his lab and many thoughtful discussions, and Prof. Feng for all kind supports!