American Physical Society Meeting

29 May 2013

Rideal Bursar Him Cheng Wong attended the American Physical Society March Meeting at Baltimore, Maryland, USA from 18-22 March 2013.

He writes: This annual conference covers exciting progress in various interdisciplinary fields, involving over 3000 delegates around the world.

I presented my talk: 'Self-assembly and photo-patterning in polymer-fullerene nanocomposite thin films', under the Active Particle Polymer Nanocomposites focus session. This work, which is an integral part of my PhD research, shows how to use light and heat to manipulate the spatial distribution of nanoadditives within a polymer thin film, making use of the propensity of fullerene (a carbon molecule ubiquitously employed as electron acceptor in organic solar cells) to be transformed chemically upon light exposure.

The purpose of my talk was to share recent findings from our research group regarding the photo-active nature of fullerenes and to demonstrate the feasibility of integrating our approach in conventional patterning and organic solar cell fabrication techniques. The presentation was well attended and resulted in many stimulating discussions during coffee breaks and poster sessions.

There were a plethora of fascinating talks from many excellent speakers held in parallel sessions throughout the five-day meeting. In particular, Professor Steven Chu, the outgoing Department of Energy Secretary and Nobel Laureate in Physics delivered a keynote speech on the promise of photovoltaics and other emerging 'cleaner' energy technologies. The talk exemplifies the role of physics and material science in the advancement of these technologies and in tackling real life environmental issues and climate change.

I also particularly enjoyed the talks in the Polymer Liquids and Glasses focus session during which results of long-term physical ageing experiments were presented, verifying that polymeric glass do indeed reaches thermodynamic equilibrium (after just one year!)

The conference venue was well situated near Baltimore's Inner Harbor, which facilitated many social events and networking opportunities with other delegates, fellow collaborators and contacts from previous conferences.

Overall, the APS March Meeting provided a perfect learning environment and also a platform to meet fellow polymer physicists and early stage researchers from all corners of the world to discuss research ideas and outlook. I would like to acknowledge and thank the generous financial support from SCI and the RSC which enabled me to attend such an exciting and productive meeting in Baltimore.

Him Cheng Wong
Imperial College London

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