What research will you do in WWSC?
– We will work on the design and synthesis of functionalized conjugated polymers that can be combined with biomaterials from the forest. Through enhancement of conjugated polymers with functional groups, we can promote complex formation with components in plants and trees and add another layer of functionality to the resulting composites. The focus will be on designing materials, with optimized efficiency for electrocatalysis and conductivity, to be utilized in electroactive papers and electronic components for future energy conversion and -storage applications.
Why using conjugated polymers?
– Many dyes in nature, for example β-carotene in carrots or chlorophyll in leaves, are very colorful substances because their conjugated chemical structure, consisting of alternating single and double bonds, Renee explains. In conjugated polymers, this single-double bond pattern is used to take advantage of the interaction that these materials have with photons and electrons. This feature enables their use in technological applications such as solar cells, light-emitting diodes, transistors, and batteries.
– By tuning the interaction between conjugated polymers and forest-based materials, we can create biocomposites that have electrical, photonic, and ion-transporting properties while being strong and flexible.
What inspires you at work?
– As a researcher, I get inspired by the scientific discussions with the students and my colleagues; the ideas that are conjured up, and collaboratively turning these ideas into new molecules, materials, and technologies. What drives me the most as a person is to be in the lab and teach organic chemistry to students, as it is very much a hands-on trade that benefits from the transfer of experience.
In WWSC, Renee will work in Program 4: Composites for energy and electronics. Read more about Program 4 >>
About Renee Kroon
Renee has an educational background in polymer science, with a Ph.D and postdoc on the topic of conjugated polymer synthesis for solar cells in the group of Prof. Mats Andersson at Chalmers. In 2015, he joined the group of Prof. Christian Müller, Chalmers, as a postdoc, switching his research focus to the field of Organic Thermoelectrics. One of the various topics of investigation was the synthesis of polar polythiophenes and their functionalized variations. After a short period at RISE in Borås, he joined LOE, LiU, and WWSC in July 2020 as an associate professor in organic chemistry.
Find contact information to Renee Kroon https://liu.se/en/employee/renkr29