Research centre wins international award

Thursday 4 December 2008

The global influence of a team of St Andrews academics has been recognised at a prestigious international awards ceremony in the USA.

The Organic Semiconductor Centre (OSC), a leading interdisciplinary research unit at the University of St Andrews, has won a major award for its innovative work.

Professor Ifor Samuel leads the research group which has won the Printed Electronics award for its outstanding achievements and significant developments in the sector that includes advances in lasers, semiconductors and the treatment of cancer.

An award ceremony was held at the industry’s largest gathering – the fifth annual Printed Electronics USA conference and exhibition – in San Jose, California, on Wednesday 3rd December.

Professor Samuel said, “The award is important recognition of the work in St Andrews, demonstrating its global influence.”

The team work with remarkable plastic-like materials to provide the basis for major new display technology and their research has had considerable international impact.

Professor Samuel continued, “I founded the Organic Semiconductor Centre at the University of St Andrews to bring together the necessary range of measurement techniques and skills to guide the development of the next generation of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) materials and devices.  The development of this field requires a detailed understanding of both the materials and the devices made from them.”

Professor Samuel, of the University’s School of Physics & Astronomy, has worked on a new approach to the treatment of skin cancer using a light-emitting sticking plaster. The device, developed and tested with Professor James Ferguson at Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, contains its own light source and is so portable that patients can go about their daily business while undergoing treatment.

Light-emitting dendrimers, a new class of organic semiconductor, are another area of Professor Samuel’s research that the award recognises. These materials (developed with Dr Paul Burn, previously of Oxford University and now at the University of Queensland) have been used to create the world’s most efficient soluble materials for LEDs and could be used to make flexible television screens, or lighting-emitting panels for home lighting.

Finally, Professor Samuel, working with Dr Turnbull at the Organic Semiconductor Centre, has worked towards practical polymer lasers, providing a new class of low-cost, compact, visible lasers for applications in spectroscopy, security and medical diagnostics.  The laser work was recently highlighted by a News and Views article in the prestigious journal, Nature.

Such cutting edge academic research has opened new directions in the field and translates research ideas into improved materials, devices and applications.

The Organic Semiconductor Centre (OSC) is an interdisciplinary research centre with the principal aim of advancing organic semiconductors towards applications in the semiconductor, electronics and optoelectronics industries. The centre is based in the School of Physics and Astronomy and the School of Chemistry at the University of St Andrews, and was founded with support from the Scottish Funding Council.

For further information about the centre and its work visit:  and


Professor Ifor Samuel is available for interview at the Printed Electronics meeting and afterwards on 001 805 403 1297 (cell) and 001 805 493 6070 (landline).

IDTechEx Printed Electronics Awards recognize company innovation, success and development. The award ceremony will be held at the industry’s largest gathering – Printed Electronics USA in San Jose, December 3-4, bringing together companies from around the world. The ceremony is held on December 3rd at the Leonardo da Vinci Awards Dinner.

More information about the conference itself is available at:


Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact Fiona Armstrong, Press Officer on 01334 462530 / 462529, Mobile: 07730 415 015 or Email: [email protected]
Ref:  OSC 04/12/08
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