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University of Iowa News Release

March 10, 2006

Chemistry Researchers Make Semiconductor Development

A research group directed by Leonard MacGillivray, associate professor of chemistry in the University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, recently reported a development that may affect the design of future smart cards and other electronic devices.

The UI study, published in the Feb. 20 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society and covered in the journal Chemical & Engineering News, involves addressing a major problem in the field of organic semiconductors by allowing molecules to be stacked in a more deliberate and orderly fashion.

"Organic semiconductors are projected to have major uses as smart cards, electronic paper and other flexible electronic media," MacGillivray says. "We have developed a new strategy to synthesize such materials that forces molecules into their proper places for electronic conduction within cocrystals."

"Imagine a paper copy of your favorite magazine being automatically updated each month, or having a personalized menu at your favorite restaurant," MacGillivray says. "Those are the kinds of applications that can be realized with inexpensive and flexible printable media."

He adds that the research group, working in concert with the University of Iowa Research Foundation, is currently exploring patent opportunities for the development.

MacGillivray is the winner of the 2004 Margaret C. Etter Early Career Award by the American Crystallographic Association and the 2004 Inter-American Photochemical Society Young Investigator Award. He joined the UI faculty in 2000 and earned his doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1998.

The Chemical & Engineering News article, "Cocrystals align semiconductor building blocks," can be found at: The original research article, published in the Feb. 11 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, can be found at:

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