Research in the Irvin Group is centered around electroactive polymers, that is, polymers that change their properties in the presence of an electric field.  These polymers are useful for sensors, charge storage, drug delivery, static dissipation, corrosion inhibition, actuators, and electrochromics, among other things.  We are particularly interested in:

Makda Araya at hood

Graduate student Makda Araya synthesizing a new monomer

  • synthesis of novel n-doping polymers with enhanced stability.
  • using electroactive polymers to develop energy storage devices as alternatives to traditional batteries and capacitors.
  • improving understanding of ion movement into and out of electroactive polymers in an electric field and using that understanding to improve polymer properties.
  • using ionic liquid electrolytes to enhance stability of electroactive polymer-based devices.
  • using nanoscale templating approaches to enhance electroactivity.

Students in the group have the opportunity to develop a broad range of useful capabilities including:

Travis Cantu poster

Dr. Betancourt, Travis Cantu (graduate student, Betancourt/Irvin labs) and Dr. Irvin with their joint poster at a National Science Foundation meeting, Washington DC, May 2013

  • Synthesis of novel organic molecules such as functionalized heterocycles
  • Polymerization (oxidative, non-oxidative, electrochemical)
  • Standard organic and polymer characterization techniques
  • Electrochemical characterization
  • Device fabrication and testing
  • Nanoparticle manipulation and characterization