Alejandro L Briseno

Alejandro L Briseno

Main Content

  • Professor of Chemistry
520 Chemistry Building
University Park, PA 16802
(814) 867-0362

Mailing Address:
104 Chemistry Building
University Park, PA 16802


  1. B.S./M.S., Biology/Chemistry, Cal State LA, 2000/2004
  2. M.S., Chemistry, UCLA, 2006
  3. Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Washington, 2008
  4. Postdoc, Chemistry, UC Berkeley, 2009

Honors and Awards:

  1. 2017 Arthur C. Cope Early Career Scholars Award for Organic Chemistry
  2. 2016 Early Excellence in Physical Organic Chemistry
  3. 2015 ACS-Advanced Materials & Interfaces Young Investigator Award
  4. 2015 University of Texas A&M Distinguished Diversity Lecturer in Chemistry
  5. 2015 UMass Faculty Exceptional Merit Award
  6. 2015 Tubitak Fellowship for Visiting Scientists
  7. 2014 Plenary Speaker, Next Generation Solar, Photovoltaics Canada
  8. 2014 Adjunct Visiting Professorship, University of Bordeaux, France
  9. 2014 Dow Foundation Distinguished Diversity Lecturer, UC Santa Barbara
  10. 2014 Emerging Investigator, Journal of Materials Chemistry C
  11. 2013 Proctor & Gamble Cultural Diversity Lecturer in Chemistry, UCLA
  12. 2013 Andreoli-Woods Lecturer, Cal State, Los Angeles
  13. 2013 Honors Convocation Keynote Speaker, Cal State University, Los Angeles
  14. 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist & Engineers (PECASE)
  15. 2012 UMass Faculty Exceptional Merit Award
  16. 2011 Editorial Advisory Boards (2011- present): Materials Today, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces
  17. 2011 Office of Naval Research Young- Investigator Program Award (ONR-YIP)
  18. 2010 3M Non-tenured Faculty Grant (2010-2013)
  19. 2008 ICI Student Award in Applied Polymer Science (PMSE)
  20. 2008 Frank J. Padden, Jr. Award, American Physics Society Excellence in Polymer Physics Graduate Research (Finalist)
  21. 2008 Xerox Technical Minority Scholarship
  22. 2007 Materials Research Society Graduate Silver Award
  23. 2007 Excellence in Graduate Polymer Science Research Award (ACS POLY Division)
  24. 2005 Carl Storm Underrepresented Minority Award Fellowship, Gordon Conference
  25. 2004 UCLA Graduate Division Award Fellowship (only one awarded)
  26. 2003 Bell Labs Graduate Research Fellowship, Lucent Technologies (2003-2007)
  27. 2003 Cal State University, Los Angeles Graduate Student of the Year Award
  28. 2001 NIH-Fellowship (MBRS-RISE Program, Cal State University, Los Angeles)

Selected Publications:

L. Zhang, B. D. Rose, Y. Liu, M. M Nahid, E. Gann, J. Ly, W. Zhao, S. J. Rosa, T. P. Russell, A. Facchetti, C. R. McNeil, J. L. Bredas, A. L. Briseno*. “Efficient Naphthalenediimide-Based Hole Semiconducting Polymer with Vinylene Linkers between Donor and Acceptor Units” Chem. Mater. 2016, 28, 8580-8590.

S. Thomas, J Ly, L. Zhang, A. L. Briseno, J. L. Bredas. “Improving the Stability of Organic Semiconductors: Distortion Energy versus Aromaticity in Substituted Bistetracene” Chem. Mater. 2016, 28, 8504-8512.

W. Huang, J. C. Markwart, A. L. Briseno,* R. C. Hayward,* Orthogonal Ambipolar Semiconductor Nanostructures for Complementary Logic Gates. ACS Nano. 2016, 27;10(9):8610-9.

J. A. Labastide, H. B. Thompson, S. R. Marques, N. S. Colella, A. L. Briseno, M. D. Barnes “Directional Charge Separation in Isolated Organic Semiconductor Crystalline Nanowires” Nat. Comm. 2016. 7, doi:10.1038/ncomms10629.

H. Lee,* J.C. Stephenson, L. J. Richter,* C. R. McNeill, E. Gann, L. Thomsen, S. Park, J. Jeong, Y. Yi, D. M. DeLongchamp, Z. A. Page, E. Puodziukynaite, T. Emrick, A. L. Briseno* “The Structural Origin of Electron Injection Enhancements with Fulleropyrrolidine Interlayers” Adv. Mater. Interfaces 2016, 1500852.

M. A. Reyes-Martinez, A.J. Crosby,* A. L. Briseno* “Single Crystal Field-Effect Mobility Modulation via Conductive Channel Wrinkling,” Nat. Comm. 2015, 6, 6948.

H. Lee, E. Puodziukynaite, Y. Zhang, J. C. Stephenson, L. J. Richter, D. A Fischer, D. M. DeLongchamp, T. E. Emrick,* A. L. Briseno* “Poly(sulfobetaine methacrylate)s as Electrode Modifiers for Inverted Organic Electronics,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 540.

L. Zhang, Y. Cao, N. S. Colella, Y. Liang, J.-L. Bredas, K. N. Houk, A. L. Briseno* “Unconventional, Chemically Stable, Polycylic Aromatic Hydrocarbons: From Molecular Design to Device Applications,” Acc. Chem. Res. 2014, 48 (3), 500-509.

L. Zhang, F. Liu, Y. Diao, H. S. March, N. S. Colella, A. Jayaraman, T. P. Russell, S. C. B. Mannsfeld,* A. L. Briseno*  “The Good Host: Formation of Discrete 1-D Fullerene “Channels” in Well-Ordered PBTTT Oligomers,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136 (52), 18120-18130.

Y. Cao, Y. Liang, L. Zhang, S. Osuna, A.-L. M. Hoyt, A. L. Briseno,* K. N. Houk* “Why Bistetracenes are Much Less Reactive than Pentacenes in Diels-Alder Reactions with Fullerenes,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 10743-10751.

L. Zhang, A. Fonari, Y. Liu, A.-L. M. Hoyt, H. Lee, D. Granger, S. Parkin, T. P. Russell, J. E. Anthony, J.-L. Brédas, V. Coropceanu, A. L. Briseno* “Bistetracene: An Air-Stable, High-Mobility Organic Semiconductor with Extended Conjugation,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136 (26), 9248-9251.

Y. Zhang, Y. Diao, H. Lee, T. Mirabito, R. Johnson, E. Puodziukynaite, J. John, K. Carter, T. Emrick, S. C. B. Mannsfeld, A. L. Briseno* “Intrinsic and Extrinsic Parameters for Controlling the Growth of Organic Single-Crystalline Nanopillars in Solar Cells,” Nano Lett., 2014, 14 (10), 5547–5554.


Organic and Polymer Semiconductor Electronics

Organic and polymer semiconductor thin films of pi-conjugated systems have the ability to transport charge and are used as high-performance functional active layers in field-effect transistors, solar cells, and light-emitting diodes. Our research group is interested on the dependence of electron (n-type) and hole (p-type) mobility on electronic/molecular structure, crystal packing, photo excitation, and defects in organic crystals and polymer semiconductor thin films. Below are a series of “themes” my research program is actively investigating.

1. Structure-Property in Oligomer and Polymer Semiconductors. Polymer semiconductors offer the possibility of low-cost, solution processable electronics for solar energy conversion, flexible displays, and basic computational devices.  However, their performance can be unreliable due to batch-to-batch variations, including differences in crystallinity, regioregularity, and processing conditions. Well-defined, monodispersed oligomers in controlled systems do not suffer from these effects. However, for oligomers to be used as representative models for their polymer analogues, the oligomers must mirror the electronic structure of the polymers.  Therefore, a key issue in polymer electronics is to determine at which chain length does an oligomer “electronically” behave like the corresponding polymer? On a molecular scale, the optoelectronic properties in semiconductor systems are largely a result of the degree of conjugation; the oligomer under study must exhibit a degree of conjugation equal to the polymer.  Furthermore, understanding the evolution of chain packing and conjugation length with regard to chain length is imperative to creating accurate models. Our approach has been to synthesize well-defined series of oligomers of representative polythiophenes as shown below.


2. Graphene-Like Fragments from Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Semiconductors. It is well recognized that the appropriate arrangement of organic molecules in the solid state is decisive for efficient charge-carrier transport. There are two common packing motifs adopted by oligoacenes in the solid state that yield strong intermolecular interactions. One is the ‘‘herringbone’’ packing arrangement, which provides edge-to-face interactions with minimal π-π stacking, yielding two-dimensional electronic interactions in the solid state (e.g. pentacene). The other is face-to-face packing, typically with some degree of displacement along the short and long axes of the molecules to decrease electrostatic repulsion. However, the still-unsolved challenge in crystal engineering is to avoid the most common herringbone π-stacking motif by rational design. This research embarks on the synthesis, self-assembly, molecular packing, and charge-transport of graphene-like molecular fragments. Understanding basic transport in these materials will pave the way for producing the appropriate materials in organic electronic devices such as transistors and solar cells.

3. Organic Single-Crystalline Nanostructured Electronics. Exciting chemistry occurs at organic interfaces. Consider an organic solar cell: exciton creation, diffusion, charge separation, charge transport, and collection all occur at the organic interface. From a fundamental viewpoint, the role of the interface must have optimal electronic and physical communication in order to yield highly efficient devices. From a technological viewpoint, one must understand, control, and have a rational design of the desired electronic and optical properties at the organic interface for the development of solar cells, integrated circuits, light-emitting transistors, and a host of potential new device concepts that have not yet been developed. The use of organic single-crystalline interfaces will have a major impact in accelerating the emerging area of organic electronics, as these highly ordered systems will enable one to extract intrinsic charge carrier transport phenomena that cannot be accurately determined from disordered systems common to amorphous and/or polycrystalline films used in mainstream devices.

Research Interests:

Materials and Nanoscience

Organic electronics, crystallization, and plant science


Organic semiconductor synthesis, crystal chemistry


Polymer Semiconductor synthesis