Mark Thompson (chemist)

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Mark E. Thompson is a Californian chemistry academic who has worked with OLEDs.


Mark E. Thompson graduated with honors from the University of California, Berkeley earning his B.S. in chemistry in 1980. He earned a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry working under the guidance of Prof. John E. Bercaw. He conducted research at a Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (S.E.R.C.) as a Research Fellow in an Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory at Oxford University. There, Thompson worked with Prof. Malcolm L. H. Green investigating specific properties of organometallic materials.[1]

Following his S.E.R.C. Fellowship, Thompson became an assistant professor at Princeton University in 1987. He moved to the University of Southern California in 1995 where he currently holds a Ray R. Irani Chair of Chemistry. From 2005-2008, Thompson served as the Chemistry Department Chairman at USC.[1]


Thompson's multidisciplinary research focuses on solving problems related to energy inefficiency of existing light-generating sources. His research is primarily focused on organic light-emitting diodes, organic photovoltaics and device interfaces.


Thompson's research on OLEDs addresses problems such as the mechanism of electroluminescence, the identification of new materials and device architectures for OLEDs. His work in OLEDs is part of a long-term collaboration with Prof. Stephen Forrest (University of Michigan), dating back to 1994.  The Thompson Group were the first to report efficient electro-phosphorescence in OLEDs, which shifts the effieincy limit of OLEDs from 25% to 100%.[2] One area focus has been on organometallic complexes as phosphorescent emitters in OLEDs.[3][4] His laboratory discovered and developed a class of Ir(III)-based complexes featuring polyaromatic ligands, which can be efficiently tuned for color emission and excited-state lifetimes. These materials can be doped in the emissive layer of multilayer, vapor-deposited OLEDs and generally show high stabilities and efficiencies.[5] Emitters from this family of materials were developed by the Universal Display Corporation and can be found in a wide range of commercial electronic displays, including the Galaxy mobile phone form Samsung and OLED-based televisions form LG.

He has also done work on deep blue phosphorescent organic light-emitting diodes with very high brightness and efficiency, which are essential for display and lighting applications.[6][7][8][9] His results represent an advance in blue-emitting phosphorescent OLED architectures and materials combinations.[10]

Additionally, Thompson has shown a very high-efficiency OLED approaching 100% internal quantum efficiency. The high internal phosphorescence efficiency and charge balance in the structure are responsible for the high efficiency.[11] He also developed a new white OLED architecture that uses a fluorescent emitting dopant to harness all high energy singlet excitons for blue emission, and phosphorescent dopants to harvest lower-energy triplet excitons for green and red emission.[12] As of now, Thompson currently holds over 200 patents in OLED materials and devices.

Another focus of his is on organic photovoltaics (OPVs). Thompson's research highlights recent progress in explaining molecular characteristics which result in photovoltage losses in heterojunction organic photovoltaics.[13] In addition to this research, Thompson grows thin films to control their structure. Then with these films, he can study the nature of energy and charge propagation. He has done work on thin films made of zinc tetraphenylporphyrin (ZnTPP) which are used to prepare Organic solar cells.[14] He has worked with singlet fission materials that promise to give markedly improved efficiencies for OPVs by current multiplication.  Singlet fission involves the splitting of a singlet exciton into two triplet excitons, so a single photon can lead to two hole/electron pairs in a photovoltaic cell. His work has led to tetracene based materials that give high triplet yield from amorphous thin films.[15][16] Thompson has also explored the use of symmetry breaking charge transfer in OPV materials as a means to enhance the open circuit voltages of organic photovoltaics.[17][18][19]

Another topic of research for Thompson has been on biotic/abiotic interfaces. The research focuses on smart materials that can respond to different environmental factors to produce technologies that produce desirable results. Such materials can be sensitive to magnetic fields, pH, light, stress, voltage, temperature, etc. For instance, an implantable, resonant mass sensor was created (built on a probe with a piezoelectric thin film) for liquid mass sensing. Thompson has demonstrated a selective functionalization of a range of In2O3 nanowire devices by electrochemically activating their surfaces and then immobilizing bio-recognition agents such as single-strand DNA or antibodies.[20] This has the potential to be used in large-scale biosensor arrays or chips for inexpensive multiplexed detection. Thompson has also worked with thermally responsive bioadhesives, designed to bind strongly to ocular tissues, such as retina or sclera, at physiological temperature and release completely at 10 °C.[21][22][23] These adhesives can be used to anchor devices to retina or seal wounds in the sclera. Thompson's projects ultimately seek to design biomaterials to improve and revolutionize medical procedures.

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 2020 National Academy of Engineering Member
  • 2017 Recipient of the Nishizawa Medal from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)[24]
  • 2016 Recipient of the Photonics Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)[25]
  • 2015 Recipient of the American Chemical Society Award in Chemistry of Materials
  • 2014 Initiated as a National Academy of Inventors Fellow[26]
  • 2013 Recipient of the Tolman Award[27]
  • 2011 Ranked 12th of the top 100 chemists worldwide for their citation impact scores for chemistry papers published since January 2000, by Thomson Reuters Web of Science[1]
  • 2007 USC Associates Award for Excellence in Research[1]
  • 2006 MRS Medal, given by the Materials Research Society for the development of new materials for organic LEDs[1]
  • 2006 Jan Rajchman Prize for Outstanding Research in Flat Panel Displays, given by the Society for Information Display[1]
  • 2004 Raubenheimer Outstanding Faculty Award, College of Letters, Arts and Science, University of Southern California[1]
  • 1998 Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award, presented by the Research and Development Council of New Jersey, for multicolor organic light emitting devices[1]
  • 1998 Distinguished Inventor of the Year, awarded by The Intellectual Property Owners Association for the development of stacked multicolor organic LEDs[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Thompson, Mark (October 2012). "Mark Edward Thompson" (PDF). Department of Chemistry, USC.
  2. ^ [Highly Efficient Phosphorescent Emission from Organic Electroluminescent Devices.  Marc A. Baldo, Diarmuid F. O'Brien, Andre Shoustikov, Scott Sibley, Mark E. Thompson, Stephen R. Forrest, Nature, 1998, 395, 151-154]
  3. ^ Phosphorescent Emitters in OLED Fundamentals Materials, Devices, and Processing of Organic Light-Emitting Diodes.  Valentina Krylova and Mark E. Thompson.  Edited by Daniel J. Gaspar and Evgueni Polikarpov, CRC Press 2015, Pages 255–296.  DOI: 10.1201/b18485-13.
  4. ^ Organometallic Complexes for Optoelectronic Applications. Thompson, M.E.; Djurovich, P.E.; Barlow, S.; Marder, S., Comprehensive Organometallic Chemistry III, 2007, 12, 101-194.
  5. ^ Lamansky, Sergey; Djurovich, Peter; Murphy, Drew; Abdel-Razzaq, Feras; Lee, Hae-Eun; Adachi, Chihaya; Burrows, Paul E.; Forrest, Stephen R.; Thompson, Mark E. (2001-05-01). "Highly Phosphorescent Bis-Cyclometalated Iridium Complexes: Synthesis, Photophysical Characterization, and Use in Organic Light Emitting Diodes". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 123 (18): 4304–4312. doi:10.1021/ja003693s. ISSN 0002-7863. PMID 11457197.
  6. ^ Ultrahigh Energy Gap Hosts in Deep Blue Organic Electrophosphorescent Devices.  Xiaofan Ren, Jian Li, Russell Holmes, Peter Djurovich, Stephen Forrest, and Mark E. Thompson, Chemistry of Materials, 2004, 16(23), 4743-4747.
  7. ^ Efficient, Deep-Blue Organic Electrophosphorescence by Guest Charge Trapping.  Russel J. Holmes, Brian W. D'Andrade, Stephen R. Forrest, Xiaofan Ren, and Mark E. Thompson, Applied Physics Letters, 2003, 83(18), 3818-3820.
  8. ^ Blue Organic Electrophosphorescence Using Exothermic Host–Guest Energy Transfer.  Russell J. Holmes, S.R. Forrest, Yeh J. Tung, Raymond C. Kwong, Julie J. Brown, Simona Garon, Mark E. Thompson, Applied Physics Letters, 2003, 82(15), 2422-2424.
  9. ^ Blue and Near-UV Phosphorescence from Iridium Complexes with Cyclometalated Pyrazolyl or N-Heterocyclic Carbene Ligands.  T. Sajoto, P. Djurovich, A. Tamayo, M. Yousufuddin, R. Bau, M. E. Thompson, R. J. Holmes, and S.R. Forrest, Inorganic Chemistry, 2005, 44(22), 7992-8003.
  10. ^ Lee, Jaesang; Chen, Hsiao-Fan; Batagoda, Thilini; Coburn, Caleb; Djurovich, Peter I.; Thompson, Mark E.; Forrest, Stephen R. (January 2016). "Deep blue phosphorescent organic light-emitting diodes with very high brightness and efficiency". Nature Materials. 15 (1): 92–98. Bibcode:2016NatMa..15...92L. doi:10.1038/nmat4446. ISSN 1476-1122. PMID 26480228.
  11. ^ Adachi, Chihaya; Baldo, Marc A.; Thompson, Mark E.; Forrest, Stephen R. (2001-10-31). "Nearly 100% internal phosphorescence efficiency in an organic light-emitting device". Journal of Applied Physics. 90 (10): 5048–5051. Bibcode:2001JAP....90.5048A. doi:10.1063/1.1409582. ISSN 0021-8979.
  12. ^ Sun, Yiru; Giebink, Noel C.; Kanno, Hiroshi; Ma, Biwu; Thompson, Mark E.; Forrest, Stephen R. (2006-04-13). "Management of singlet and triplet excitons for efficient white organic light-emitting devices" (PDF). Nature. 440 (7086): 908–912. Bibcode:2006Natur.440..908S. doi:10.1038/nature04645. hdl:2027.42/62889. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 16612378. S2CID 4321188.
  13. ^ Schlenker, Cody W.; Thompson, Mark E. (2011-03-15). "The molecular nature of photovoltage losses in organic solar cells". Chemical Communications. 47 (13): 3702–16. doi:10.1039/C0CC04020G. ISSN 1364-548X. PMID 21283910.
  14. ^ Chemical Annealing of Zinc Tetraphenylporphyrin Films: Effects on Film Morphology and Organic Photovoltaic Performance.  Cong Trinh; Matthew T. Whited; Andrew Steiner; Christopher J. Tassone; Michael F. Toney; Mark E. Thompson, Chemistry of Materials, 2012, 24(13), 2583-2591.
  15. ^ Singlet Fission in a Covalently Linked Cofacial Alkynyltetracene Dimer.  Nadezhda V. Korovina, Saptaparna Das, Zachary Nett, Xintian Feng, Jimmy Joy, Ralf Haiges, Anna I. Krylov, Stephen E. Bradforth, and Mark E. Thompson, Journal of the American Chemical Society 2016 138, 617-627.
  16. ^ Efficient Singlet Fission Discovered in a Disordered Acene Film. Sean T. Roberts; Eric R. McAnally; Joseph N. Mastron; David H. Webber, Matthew T. Whited; Richard L. Brutchey; Stephen E. Bradforth, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2012, 134(14), 6388-400. 
  17. ^ Symmetry-Breaking Charge Transfer in a Zinc Chlorodipyrrin Acceptor for High Open Circuit Voltage Organic Photovoltaics.  Barytnski, Andrew N.; Gruber, Mark; Das, Saptaparna; Rangan, Sylvie; Mollinger, Sonya; Trinh, Cong; Bradforth, Stephen E.; Vandewal, Koen; Salleo, Alberto; Bartynski, Robert A.; Bruetting, Wolfgang; Thompson, Mark E., Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2015, 137(16), 5397-5405.
  18. ^ Symmetry-Breaking Charge Transfer of Visible Light Absorbing Systems: Zinc Dipyrrins.  Cong Trinh; Kent Kirlikovali; Saptaparna Das; Maraia E. Ener; Harry B. Gray; Peter I. Djurovich; Stephen E. Bradforth; Mark E. Thompson, Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2014, 118(83), 21834-21845. 
  19. ^ Symmetry-Breaking Intramolecular Charge Transfer in the Excited State of Meso-linked BODIPY Dyads.  Matthew T. Whited, Niral M. Patel, Sean T. Roberts, Kathryn Allen, Peter I. Djurovich, Stephen E. Bradforth and Mark E. Thompson, Chemical Communications, 201248(2), 284-6.
  20. ^ Curreli, Marco; Li, Chao; Sun, Yinghua; Lei, Bo; Gundersen, Martin A.; Thompson, Mark E.; Zhou, Chongwu (2005-05-01). "Selective Functionalization of In2O3 Nanowire Mat Devices for Biosensing Applications". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 127 (19): 6922–6923. doi:10.1021/ja0503478. ISSN 0002-7863. PMID 15884914.
  21. ^ Surface Chemical Immobilization of Parylene C with Thermosensitive Block Copolymer Brushes Based on N-isopropylacrylamide and N-tert-butylacrylamide: Synthesis, Characterization, and Cell Adhesion/Detachment.  Mark E. Thompson; Changhong Zhang; Thomas P. Vermier; Yu-Hsuan Wu; Wangrong Yang, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, Part B: Applied Biomaterials, 2012, 100B(1), 217-229.
  22. ^ Chemical Surface Modification of Parylene C for Enhanced Protein Immobilization and Cell Proliferation.  Changhong Zhang; Mark E. Thompson; Frank S. Markland; Steve Swenson, Acta Biomaterialia, 2011, 7(10), 3746-56.
  23. ^ Improvement of Metal and Tissue Adhesion on Surface-Modified Parylene C.  Paulin N. Wahjudi; Jin H. Oh; Salam O. Salman; Jason A. v; Damien C. Rodger; Yu-Chong Tai; Mark E. Thompson, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, Part A, 2009, 89A(1), 206-214.
  24. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-19. Retrieved 2018-01-05.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  25. ^ "IEEE Photonics Award Recipients". Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
  26. ^ Chemistry, U. S. C. (2014-12-17). "Congratulations to Professor Mark Thompson!!! Prof. Mark Thompson has been elected to the National Academy of..." @uscchemistry. Retrieved 2017-06-09.
  27. ^ "SCALACS". 2014-04-08.