Alexandria Cruz

Alexandria Cruz
Mentor: Dr. Franky So
College of Engineering
"In the back of my mind, I was somewhat cognizant that I curious about research. When I started college, I was not exactly sure what career I wanted to pursue after I got my degree. However, seeing the numerous job openings at laboratories in the career fair caused me to reconsider a career in research. The problem was that I did not have any experience in the lab and it was hard to picture myself in a job that I never did. Last year, I went Dr. So's seminar on Organic LED's and it was really interesting to see presentations of electronic screens that could be transparent and capable of bending. After the seminar, I asked if I could become part of his group and eventually, he let me attended the group meetings. After attending group meetings for nearly half a year, I asked for him to be my mentor in the USP scholars program so I could get research experience and see if research was the career path for me."


Materials Science and Engineering



Research Interests

  • Organic LEDs
  • Photovoltaics
  • Electronic Materials

Academic Awards

  • Douglas Turner Scholarship
  • REU Engineering the Grid


  • Engineers Without Borders


  • N/A

Hobbies and Interests

  • Drawing
  • Digital Painting

Research Description

Electronic Pumping in Organic LEDs
In 2009 in the Optics Journal there were reports stating that electrical pumping can work for lasing. Our research is meant to test if this claim is valid since the results of the reports have not been replicated. However, instead of creating a laser to test electrical pumping, we will test electrical pumping on a strong microcavity of an OLED. The OLED is going to have the same materials as described in the paper only without the top and bottom mirrors. The OLED will be made through a solution process where the material is heated to a sublime temperature and is attached to the substrate layer by layer. Both OLEDs and lasers utilize the microcavity structure, produce light and both can benefit from electrical pumping. The light produced by a laser is coherent and OLED is incoherent, but if the combination of materials is truly capable of lasing there will be a threshold detected in the interference pattern when pumped with sufficient energy. If there is a threshold, then the paper is correct and the research can be applied to creating better electrically pumped lasers and OLEDs. If the paper proves to be incorrect, then we will have a better understanding of the real physics of electrical pumping and the materials of the OLED.