PTFE PhD Defense—Xiaodan Zhang

MSE Grad Presentation
Event Date:
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 3:00pm to 5:00pm
IPST Board Room 521

Dr. Yulin Deng, CHBE (advisor)
Dr. Youngjiang Wang, MSE (co-advisor)
Dr. Zhiqun Lin, CHBE
Dr. Preet Singh, MSE
Dr. James Carson Meredith, CHBE

Cellulose is the most abundant biopolymer in the world and the main 
component of  paper. Modern society requires electronic devices to be more 
flexible and environmental friendly, which makes cellulose as a good 
candidate for the next generation of green electronics. However, lots of 
researches employed “paper-like” petroleum-based polymers to fabricate 
electronics rather than using real cellulose paper. Cellulose, as a 
representative of environmental friendly materials, caught into people’s 
attention because of its sustainable nature, ease of functionality, 
flexibility and tunable surface properties, etc. There are some general 
challenges about using cellulose for electronics, such as its 
non-conductivity, porosity and roughness, but these features can be taken 
advantages of on certain occasions. This thesis focuses on the study of 
cellulose-based electronic devices by chemical or physical modification of 
microfibrillated cellulose (MFC). Particularly, three electronic devices 
were fabricated, including ionic diodes, electric double layer 
supercapacitors, pseudocapacitors. In addition, a rational design of 
dye-sensitized solar cell was investigated, although it was not directly 
cellulose-based, it led the way to the next generation of cellulose-based 
solar cells. The extraordinary physical and chemical properties of MFC were 
successfully leveled in those devices, in addition, inspiring and effective 
fabrication methods were proposed and carried out to solve the major 
problems faced by paper-based electronics, such as conductivity, 
flexibility, packaging and designs.