Jean-Luc Brédas, Ph.D.

Molecular Design
Georgia Institute of Technology
Recruited: 2005

A television just 1/4-inch thick. Electronic displays that can be rolled up and carried in a briefcase. Flexible solar cells for portable power applications.
These products are moving from concept to reality, thanks to the work of Jean-Luc Brédas, one of the world’s 100 most-cited chemists.
Brédas uses complex computational methods that influence the creation of products. These methods help clarify the electrical and optical properties of organic molecules and materials – knowledge that informs the design of new generations of compounds that are needed to develop new electronics and photonics. His computational approach sheds light on which family of organic materials provides the properties that will work best for a given application.
An example: For display applications requiring light-emitting materials, Brédas’ calculations can tell which color a given organic material will emit and how efficiently it will do so. In this way, synthetic chemists can be informed whether molecules or polymers proposed for (usually lengthy) syntheses are worth pursuing.
Brédas’ scholarly peers having referred to his publications more than 43,000 times – a testament to his stature in the global community of chemists.


Brédas investigates the structural, electronic and optical properties of novel organic molecules and polymers. Using powerful theoretical techniques based on quantum mechanics, condensed-matter physics, and classical mechanics, he models the physico-chemical mechanisms that ultimately control overall device efficiency. 
His main goal is to develop new materials to better conserve and produce energy. Topics currently under investigation include:

  • Harnessing solar energy with organic photovoltaic cells
  • Electroluminescence in solid-state lighting and display technologies
  • Nonlinear optics for photonics and information technology applications
  • Interfacial and surface chemistry at the heterojunctions between metals or transparent conducting oxides and organic layers
  • Fundamental insight into electron transport in organic electronic applications 

Choosing Georgia

Brédas came to Georgia because of the commitment of the state to higher education and technology development, exemplified by the Georgia Research Alliance, and the openness to the world and interdisciplinary mindset that permeate the Georgia Tech campus.

Intellectual Property