SGS Celebrates Graduate Student Winners of Federal Tri-Council Awards - Jayden Price

Author: Andrea

Posted on Dec 8, 2021

Category: Student Stories , Money Matters

Profile of Jayden Price

Award Received: Postgraduate Scholarship - Doctoral (Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council)

 Awarded for the project: Strategic design of deep-red and near-infrared solid-state emitters for biological and material applications

 Faculty: Science

 Department: Chemistry

 Project supervised by: Dr. Sara Eisler

Luminescent small molecules, those that have the uncanny ability to absorb energy and spontaneously emit it in the form of light, are the basis of multiple technologies we use every day. These include COVID diagnostic test kits, high resolution cell imaging techniques, and OLED displays. Despite not being visible to the naked eye, the impact these light-emitting molecules have on the world around us is profound. Nevertheless, there still exist challenges that limit the widespread implementation of these technologies. For instance, a flaw in the commonly used design approach for red-emitting molecules often renders them active in solution but inactive in the solid-state. Owing to the particular importance of red light-emitting molecules in applications such as OLEDs and biological imaging/sensing, my interest as well as the interest of other chemists within my field, is to identify an alternative molecular design strategy to realize the full potential of these technologies.

With the universe’s largest LEGO® set at my disposal, the periodic table, I spend my days constructing unique arrangements of atoms and characterizing their light-emitting properties. By making strategic changes to the connectivity within our structures, we can modify and tune desirable properties such as emission color and brightness. Understanding structure-property relationships is the heart of our approach – and was the key to our success in accessing solid-state active, red-emitting molecules. ‘‘The most fundamental and lasting objective of chemistry is not production of new compounds, but production of properties” – George S. Hammond (1968).