|Deanna Pickel||E-mail Deanna Pickel|
My broad research interest is in the precise synthesis and characterization of well-defined materials, both in functionality and architecture, to better understand the relationship between molecular structure and self-assembly at the nanoscale.
Following my graduate work in the area of anionic synthesis and characterization of functional polymers at The University of Akron, I joined Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, Tennessee as a Research Chemist where I worked in the Specialty Plastics Business. I joined the CNMS in 2007 as part of the Macromolecular Nanomaterials Group and the “Functional Polymer Architectures” Theme.
My current research effort is focused on active layer materials for organic photovoltaic solar cells. Our research effort is focused on the development of novel functional conjugated polymers, based on poly(3-hexylthiophene), that when ligated to semiconducting quantum dots will allow for control over the nanoscale morphology of the solar cell active layer. The ability to control active layer morphology in OPVs is critical for increased efficiencies. In addition to developing synthetic techniques for the preparation of these functional polymers, I have also focused on their characterization by MALDI-TOF MS.
My contributions to the CNMS User Program are mainly in the area of synthesis of well-defined polymeric materials by anionic polymerization, as well as characterization of macromolecules by MALDI-TOF MS. My most recent user project involved the synthesis of partially deuterated asymmetric polyethylene stars for Michaela Zamponi from Juelich Centre for Neutron Science. These materials were designed to aid in their studies on the role of the branch point on relaxation mechanisms in star polymer melts using neutron spin echo. Recent work with researchers from Akos Vertes’ Group from George Washington University showed that tailored silicon nanopost arrays (NAPA) are efficient photonic ion sources for mass spectrometry that exhibit high sensitivity and resolution for small organic molecules and biomolecules. These unique nanostructured ion sources provide enhanced control of ion production on the nanometer scale, and could be integrated with microfluidic lab-on-a-chip devices or miniaturized mass spectrometers.