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Past Winner
2004 Innovation Challenge Award

Matthew Heuft

Soluble Pentacene Derivatives for New Organic Thin Film Electronic Devices

University of Ottawa

Matthew Heuft, an organic chemist who received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Ottawa, developed a family of chemical compounds with unique properties. These compounds will enable companies to save time and money as they use organic semiconductors to manufacture thinner, lighter-weight screens used in cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and other consumer electronic devices.

In the next decade, sales of organic semiconductors – the workhorse of a circuit board – are projected to reach US$2 billion. Heuft used a fast, four-step route to develop this new family of pentacene compounds, and they are well-suited to large-scale production efforts.

Researchers at the National Research Council and 3M Canada are investigating the performance of these compounds and their semiconducting properties for electronics. The next step is to investigate their use in solar cell, or light harvest devices, which convert solar energy into electrical energy.

Heuft's invention, for which he has a patent pending, is considered extremely attractive to the growing organic electronics market. The work is continuing in Professor Alex Fallis's lab at the University of Ottawa.