Research Areas & Highlights

Making an Impact with Next-Generation Materials

Lian, Keryn K.Solid polymer-based, thin-film super-capacitor from Professor Lian's Flexible Electronics & Energy Lab

Associate Professor Keryn K. Lian (left) and a solid polymer-based, thin-film super-capacitor made in her Flexible Energy & Electronics Lab (right)

Professor Keryn Lian is finding ways to boost the amount and density of energy stored in thin, solid electrochemical capacitors.

The thin cells, combined with batteries or solar cells, form new hybrid energy devices that help prolong fast and safe energy delivery. She is one of eight researchers across U of T Engineering working on the Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) program in Distributed Generation for Remote Communities (DGRC), funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Led by Professor Cristina Amon, Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering, the project will bring clean energy alternative technologies to remote communities in Canada.

The Future of OLED Technology


Doctoral researcher Zhibin Wang, Professor Zheng-Hong Lu, and doctoral researcher Michael Helander present their revolutionary Cl-OLED technology.

Chlorine has played a pivotal role in helping a research team develop the most efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly light-emitting diodes yet made.

By adding a one-atom thick layer of chlorine to ITO, the team was able to create record-breaking OLED efficiency

Doctoral researchers Michael Helander and Zhibin Wang discovered that chlorine can drastically change the properties of indium tin oxide (ITO)—the material used in flat-panel displays.

By adding a one-atom thick layer of chlorine to ITO, the team, led by Professor Zheng-Hong Lu, Canada Research Chair in Organic Optoelectronics, was able to create record-breaking organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) using one or two organic layers instead of the four or five layers typically required. With fewer layers, the chlorine-OLEDs (Cl-OLEDs) will not only be less complex, but easier to manufacture.

Cl-OLEDs also make it possible to create displays on thinner, pliable surfaces instead of traditional glass plates.

“For years, the biggest excitement behind OLED technologies has been the potential to effectively produce them on flexible plastic,” says Lu. Now there is potential to create paper-thin light displays that could be folded and stuffed into a wallet or used in large areas for ultra energy-efficient indoor lighting.

Research Areas & Affiliated Core Professors

Advanced Coating Technologies & Ceramics

Biomaterials & Biotechnology

Composites, Polymers & Hybrid Materials

Computational Materials Engineering

Electronic Materials & Systems

Energy Devices, Systems & Technologies

Materials Fracture & Failure

  • Perovic, Doug D. – Electron Microscopy / Microelectronics / Forensics
  • Howe, JaneIn situ and correlative microscopy group

Materials Processing & Modelling

Multiscale Mechanics & Additive Manufacturing

  • Zou, Yu – Laboratory for Extreme Mechanics & Additive Manufacturing

Nanomaterials & Nanotechnology