Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Phone: (302) 831-2284
310 DuPont Hall
University of Delaware Research Foundation (UDRF) award, 2022
Best postdoc award, Department of NanoEngineering, UC San Diego, 2019
Invited speaker at the Emerging Materials Researchers Symposium, CSC, Edmonton, AB, 2018
Robert Zamboni chemistry prize, Department of Chemistry, McGill University, 2015
NSERC CREATE in Green Chemistry fellowship, 2014
Marcus Wallenberg Young Researcher Award, 2014
The Kayser Laboratory is highly interdisciplinary, at the intersection of organic chemistry, polymer synthesis, and materials and device engineering. We develop innovative synthetic approaches and designs for polymeric materials, in particular organic electronics, that can address challenges in human health and sustainability.
Electronic materials integrated into biological systems have widespread potential in human health, including for fitness and health tracking, therapeutic electrostimulation to treat neurodegenerative diseases or nerve injuries, biosensing and electrophysiology, as instructive electrostimulation in tissue engineering, and for human-machine interfaces (actuators and prosthetics). But, the mechanical mismatch between “hard” electronics and “soft” biological tissues has prevented the widespread translation of bioelectronics due to discomfort, scarring, and/or device rejection in long-term applications. To solve this problem, we use organic electronics (π-conjugated polymers) because they have a higher flexibility and mechanical compliance than inorganic conducting (i.e., metals) and semiconducting materials (i.e., silicon). But, the use of organic electronics at biological interfaces brings additional challenges such as ionic conductivity, specificity, biodegradation, stability and adhesion under aqueous conditions, adaptability, and biocompatibility, that are often not considered. We therefore design materials for electronics, energy storage, and healthcare applications with these parameters as guiding principles.
We are using the toolbox of modern synthetic chemistry (photocatalysis, C-H activation, controlled radical polymerization, supramolecular chemistry) to control both the chemical structure and solid-state assembly of organic electronics from the molecular- to the macro-scale. Our group currently focuses on three main areas of research: (1) Electrically-conductive hydrogels; (2) Organic mixed ionic-electronic conductors; and (3) Upcycling plastic waste to functional polymeric materials.
D. M. Nguyen, Y. Wu, A. Nolin, C.-Y. Lo, T. Guo, C. Dhong, D. C. Martin, L. V. Kayser*, “Electronically-Conductive Hydrogels by in-situ Polymerization of a Water-Soluble EDOT-Derived Monomer” Adv. Eng. Mater. 2022, 2200280.
C.-Y. Lo, Y. Wu, E. Awuyah, D. Meli, D.M. Nguyen, R. Wu, B. Xu, J. Strzalka, J. Rivnay, D. Martin, L. Kayser*, “Influence of the Molecular Weight and Size Distribution of PSS on Mixed Ionic-Electronic Transport in PEDOT:PSS” Polym. Chem. 2022, 13, 2707.
L. K. G. Ackerman-Biegasiewicz, D. M. Arias-Rotondo, K. F. Biegasiewicz, E. Elacqua*, M. R. Golder, L. V. Kayser, J. R. Lamb, C. M. Le, N. A. Romero, S. M. Wilkerson-Hill, and D. A. Williams, “Organic Chemistry: a Retrosynthetic Approach to a Diverse Field” ACS Cent. Sci. 2020, 6, 11, 1845.