University of Turku (UTU)

Department of Chemistry
Research team concentrated on bioinspired materials and biodegradable electronics

Dr. Adj. prof. Mikko Salomäki
Prof. Jukka Lukkari (physical chemistry)
Mr Majid Al-waeel, M. Sc., doctorate student
Ms Gabriela Rizzo Piton, M. Sc., researcher (to the end of 2022)
Mr Lauri Marttila, M. Sc., doctorate student (Thesis in December 2022)

Research themes  - Our research focuses on the bioinspired redox-active molecules and materials, their thin films and use in biodegradable electronics, and on the properties of deep eutectic solvents (DESs), their use in electrochemistry, especially in biodegradable supercapacitors.

Biodegradable power sources, e.g., supercapacitors, are required in future biodegradable transient electronic devices used in short term applications, specifically in biomedicine and –analysis, large scale environmental monitoring, and sensors in consumer packages, with the possibility for a closed-loop device lifecycle without e-waste problems. We focus on quinonoid bioinspired redox-active materials, especially melanin-type materials such as polydopamine (PDA), as active pseudocapacitive components in supercapacitors, and develop new upscalable material-efficient methods for the generation of thin films using these materials. We also use DESs as ionically conducting phases in supercapacitors to improve their efficiency.

Tasks within the InsBIOration project
We are the leader of Comprehensive analytical methods, which seeks to obtain a coherent and integral picture of the properties and performance of the materials and interfaces involved, the experimental methods used, and to disseminate this information and experimental data to all partners.

We participate in Deposition of biomolecules as adhesion promoters in developing robust, up-scalable, reproducible and cost-effective deposition techniques for PDA, its analogues, and other relevant molecules. In particular, we focus on various layer-by-layer techniques, and on oxidative chemical vapour deposition and electrospraying techniques. We seek to understand the relationship between the film deposition methods and the properties of the films.

In Fabrication of multiphase materials with designed surfaces and interfaces, we participate in Sustainable/biodegradable batteries and supercapacitors, where we focus on improving the conductivity and electrochemical properties of films composed of PDA and similar compounds, and of hybrid films with other components. We also assess the potential of deep eutectic solvents as biologically benign ionic conductor in supercapacitors. We also participate in Bio-inspired metallization of plastics for the development of PDA hybrid material with controllable electric properties. Here our focus will be on the electrical conductivity of the various coatings.

We pursue to develop sustainable and material-efficient solutions to chemical and technological problems using bioinspired ideas. At the same time, we are fascinated by the purely scientific and fundamental issues involved.

Contact details of the project partner  

Dr Mikko Salomäki

Prof. Jukka Lukkari

Website of UTU
Department of Chemistry