The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships program, administered through NSERC, provides $70,000 annually for two years to national and international postdoctoral applicants who positively contribute to the country’s economic, social and research-based growth. It is arguably the most prestigious postdoctoral fellowship available in Canada. Only 23 were distributed this year.
Lessard plans to use the funding to support his research into the synthesis and characterization of Boron Subphthlocyanine-containing copolymers and optimization of their use in organic electronic devices; for example, photovoltaic cells (OPVs) to light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and thin-film transistors (OTFTs).
“The synthesis and characterization of these novel polymers, as well as their implementation into lab scale OLEDs and OPVs will allow us to study whether these classes of polymers can produce cost-effective and sufficiently efficient materials to be used in next-generation plastic electronics,” says Lessard.
Development of inexpensive and flexible organic electronics provide a number of benefits to society, including increasing the availability of low cost organic solar cells, vibrant and flexible visual displays and even plastic computers. Lessard’s research might very well uncover new classes of materials, which could be utilized for these applications.
“The Department is very proud of Benoit’s achievement and looks forward to help him explore the potential of his research,” said Professor Grant Allen, Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry at U of T.