Alex K-Y Jen

Organic Photovoltaics


University of  Washington Department of Chemistry and Materials Science and Engineering Roberts Hall 302 Seattle, WA 98195-2120

Phone: 206 543 2626



Professor Alex Jen obtained his Ph. D. from the Department of Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania in 1984. He is currently the Boeing-Johnson Chair Professor and Chair of the Department of Materials Science & Engineering. He is also the Founding Director of the Institute of Advanced Material for Energy Solutions at the University of Washington. His research interest is focused on utilizing molecular, polymeric and biomacromolecular self-assembly to create ordered arrangement of organic and inorganic functional materials for photonics, opto-electronics, nanomedicine and nanotechnology. He has co-authored more than 500 publications and given over 300 invited technical presentations. He is also an inventor or co-inventor for more than 50 patents and invention disclosures.  For his contributions in the organic photonics and electronics, he was elected as a Fellow by several professional societies including the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2005, the International Society of Optical Engineering (SPIE) in 2006, the Optical Society America (OSA) in 2008, and the American Chemical Society’s Polymeric Materials Science & Engineering Division (PMSE) in 2009. He was appointed in 2007 by the Governor of the State of Washington as the Board of Directors for the Washington Technology Center.

Professional Experience and Research Interests:

2006-present   Director, Institute of Advanced Materials and Technology, University of Washington

2005-present   Chair, Department of Materials Science & Engineering, University of Washington

2003-present   Associate Director and Thrust Leader, The NSF-funded Science & Technology Center on “Materials & Devices for Information Technology” ($40M/10yrs)

2003-present   Professor, Department of Chemistry

1999-present   Professor, Dept. of Materials Science & Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

1997-1999       Associate Professor, Northeastern University, Boston, MA

1995-1996       Vice President, ROITech, Monmouth Junction, NJ

1988-1994       Group Leader/Senior Scientist, EniChem America Inc., NJ 

1984-1988       Research Scientist, Allied-Signal, NJ  


Honor and Awards:

Editor, IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, 11-

  • World Class University (WCU) Professor, Korea University, 09-
  • PMSE Fellow, The American Chemical Society, Division of Polymeric Materials Science & Engineering, 08
  • Board of Directors, Washington Technology Center, Appointed by the Governor of Washington State, 07
    • Faculty of Research Innovator Award, College of Engineering, University of Washington, 07
    • Changjiang Endowed Chair Professor, Wuhan University, Ministry of Education, China, 07
  • OSA Fellow, The Optical Society of America, 07
    • SPIE Fellow, The International Society of Optical Engineering, 06
    • AAAS Fellow, The American Association for the Advancement of Science, 05
  • Member of the Editorial Advisory Board, Chemistry of Materials, NPG-Asia Materials, Journal of the Experimental Nanoscience  
  • Member of Advisory Board, Institute of Chemistry, Academia Sinica, Taiwan, 02-04, 08-10
    • Member of Advisory Board, College of Sciences, National Chiao-Tung University, Taiwan, 08
    • Boeing-Johnson Endowed Chair, University of Washington, 1999-
    • Industrial Fellow (rank as full professor), Northwestern University, 95-00
    • Founder’s Award, ROITech, 95
    • Outstanding Achievement Award, EniChem America, 94
    • President’s Award, EniChem America, 89

Representative publications selected from >500 papers:

  1. “Creating Favorable Geometries for Directing Organic Photoreactions in Alkanethiolate Monolayers”, M. Kim, J. N. Hohman, Y. Cao, K. N. Houk, H. Ma, A. K.-Y. Jen, and P. S. Weiss, Science, 2011, 331, 1312.
  2. “Molecular Biomimetics: Nanotechnology through Biology”, M. Sarikaya, C. Tamerler, A. K-Y. Jen, K. Schulten, and F. Baneyx, An Invited Review in Nature Materials, 2003, 2, 577.
  3. “Terahertz All-Optical Modulator in Silicon”, M. Hochberg, T. Bachr-Jones, G. Wang, J. D. Luo, P. Sullivan, A. K-Y. Jen, L. Dalton, and A. Scherer, Nature Materials, 2006, 5(9), 703.
  4. “Record Electro-optic Coefficient of 170 pm/V and Vp of 1V at 1.55 mm in Hybrid Crosslinkable Polymer/Sol-gel Waveguide Modulators”, Y. Enami, C. T. DeRose, D. Mathine, C. Loychik, C. Greenlee, R. A. Norwood, T. D. Kim, J. Luo, Y. Tian, A. K-Y. Jen, and N. Peyghambarian, Nature Photonics, 2007, 1, 180.
  5. “Development of New Conjugated Polymers with Donor-p-Bridge-Acceptor Side Chains for High Performance Solar Cells”, F. Huang, K-S. Chen, H-L. Yip, S. K. Hau, O. Acton, Y. Zhang, J. D. Luo, and A. K-Y. Jen, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2009, 131, 1388.
  6. “Interface Engineering for Organic Electronics”, H. Ma, H. L. Yip, F. Huang, and A. K-Y. Jen, an Invited Feature Article, Adv. Func. Mater., 2010, 20(9), 1371.
  7. “Cooperative Near-field Surface Plasmon Enhanced Quantum Dot Nanoarrays”, K. Leong, Y. Chen, D. J. Masiello, M. T. Zin, M. Hnilova, H. Ma, M. Sarikaya, D. S. Ginger, and A. K.-Y. Jen, Adv. Func. Mater., 2010, 20, 2675.
  8. “Efficient Polymer Solar Cells Based on the Copolymers of Benzodithiophene and Thienopyrroledione”, Y. Zhang, S. K. Hau, H.-L. Yip, Y. Sun, O. Acton, and A. K.-Y. Jen, Chem. Mater., 2010, 22, 2696.
  9. “Directed Assembly of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes via Drop-Casting onto a UV-Patterned Photosensitive Monolayer”, J. A. Bardecker, A. Afzali, G. S. Tulevski, T. Graham, J. B. Hannon, and A. K-Y. Jen, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2008, 130(23), 7226.

10.  “Mesoscale Dynamics and Cooperativity of Networking Dendronized Nonlinear Optical Molecular Glasses”, T. Gray, T-D. Kim, D. Knorr, J. D. Luo, A. K.-Y. Jen, and R. M. Overney, Nano Lett., 2008, 8(2), 754.

11.   “Ultra-Large and Thermally Stable Electro-Optic Activities from Supramolecular Self-Assembled Molecular Glasses”, T. D. Kim, J. W. Kang, J. D. Luo, S. H. Jang, S. Hau, Z. Shi, R. M. Overney, J. B. Benedict, and A. K-Y. Jen, J. Am. Chem. Soc, 2007, 129, 488.

12.  “Supramolecular Self-Assembled Dendritic Nonlinear Optical Chromophores: Fine-Tuning of Arene-Perfluoroarene Interactions for Ultra-large Electro-Optic Activity and Enhanced Thermal Stability”, X. H. Zhou, J. D. Luo, T. D. Kim, Z. Shi, S. Huang, Y. J. Cheng, S. H. Jang, and A. K-Y. Jen, Adv. Mater., 2009, 21(19), 1976.

13.  “Polymer Solar Cells using Self-Assembled Monolayers Modified ZnO/Metals as Cathodes”, H-L. Yip, S. K. Hau, H. Ma, A. K.-Y. Jen, Adv. Mater., 2008, 20(12), 2376.

14.  “p-s-Phosphonic Acid Organic Monolayer/High-k Metal Oxide Hybrid Dielectrics for Low-Voltage Organic Transistors”, O. Acton, G. Ting, H. Ma, J. W. Ka, H. L. Yip, N. M. Tucker, and A. K-Y. Jen, Adv. Mater., 2008, 20(19), 3697.

15.  “Patterning of Robust Self-Assembled n-type Hexaazatrinaphthylene-based Nanorods and Nanowires by Microcontact Printing”, H.-L. Yip, J. Zhou, H. Ma, Y. Tian, N. M. Tucker, and A. K.-Y. Jen, J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2006, 128, 13042.

16.  “Efficient CdSe/CdS Quantum Dot Light-Emitting Diodes Using a Thermally Polymerized Hole Transport Layer”, J. Zhao, J. A. Bardecker, A. M. Munro, M. S. Liu, Y. Niu, I-K. Ding, J. Luo, B. Chen, A. K-Y. Jen, and D. S. Ginger, Nano Lett., 2006, 6(3), 463.

17.  “Ordered Self-Assembly and Electronic Behavior of C60-Anthrylphenylacetylene Hybrid” S. H. Kang, H. Ma, M. H. Zareie, M. Kang, K. Kim, M. Sarikaya, and A. K.-Y. Jen, Angew. Chem, Int. Ed., 2004, 43(12), 1512.

18.  “Controlled Assembly of Conducting Monomers for Molecular Electronics”, H. Zareie, H. Ma, B. Reed, A. K-Y. Jen, and M. Sarikaya, Nano Lett., 2003, 3(2), 139.