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A 3-year PhD studentship in Development of conducting organometal halide perovskite for energy harvesting application


Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Modelling and Material Science, UCL

Saturday, July 31, 2021 Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
London United Kingdom Inorganic Chemistry Chemistry Materials Science Physical Chemistry

About the Project

The studentship

This position is fully funded by the UCL-A*STAR Collaborative Programme via the Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science (M3S CDT) at UCL. The student will be registered for a PhD at UCL where he/she will spend year 1 and the first six months of year 4. The second and third years of the PhD will be spent in IMRE of A*STAR in Singapore. The studentship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate, and an annual stipend of no less than £17,285 increasingly annually with inflation (tax free) pro rata in years 1 and 4. During years 2 and 3, the student will receive a full stipend directly from A*STAR. In addition, A*STAR will provide the student with one-off relocation allowance. 

Due to funding restrictions, this studentship only opens to UK nationals, EU nationals with settled/pre-settled status. Please note that we are currently seeking clarity from the Department for Education on how EU students with pre-settled and settled status will be considered in terms of fee status as the studentship only covers home fees.

Start Date: 27 September 2021

Location: London (1.5 years), Singapore (2 years)

Objective To synthesize and characterize novel conducting organometal halide perovskite (OMH) perovskite for energy harvesting applications via the use of organic radical cations.

Project Description The explosive growth of organometal halide perovskite (OMH) perovskite research led by the success in solar cells has triggered much fundamental work on their properties and other possible applications. One of the interesting areas is doping of OMH perovskite to increase its electrical conductivity. This has the potential to eliminate the need of hole/electron transporting layer (thereby simplifying device structure and reducing cost) and/or also improve the performance in OMH perovskite solar cells/phototransistors. Conducting OMH perovskite may also find applications in thermoelectrics.

Doping of OMH perovskite via metal substitution or interstitial doping is challenging as few ions can successfully be incorporated into the halide perovskite structure. Surface doping such as using cobaltcene has also been explored and has led to a current record conductivity of 10-4 S cm-1, as compared to 10-8 S cm-1 for pristine film. In recently obtained results, we have successfully doped MAPbI3 using an organic radical cation that resulted in conductivity as high as 10-2 S cm-1. We believe the organic radical cation partially substitutes the methylammonium (MA+) cation on the surface of the film to introduce a half-filled band that leads to the observed high conductivity. In this project, the successful candidate will build on this work, and explore the use of radial organic cations for surface modification of halide perovskites and related materials. The project will involve solid state and thin film synthesis, characterisation of materials using techniques like XRD, Raman, SEM, TEM, optical spectroscopy, transport measurements, and device characterisation. 

The Candidate

The successful applicant should have or expect to achieve a 1st or 2:1 class integrated Masters degree (MEng, MSci, MChem etc.) or equivalent in Chemistry, materials science, or a closely related discipline. The successful applicant will demonstrate strong interest and self-motivation in the subject, good experimental practice and the ability to think analytically and creatively. Good computer skills, plus good presentation and writing skills in English, are required. Previous research experience in contributing to a collaborative interdisciplinary research environment is highly desirable but not necessary as training will be provided. 

Please contact Prof Robert Palgrave () for further details or to express an interest.

Applications will be accepted until 31 July 2021 but the position will be filled as soon as an appropriate candidate is found.


Funding Notes

Due to funding restrictions, this studentship only opens to UK nationals, EU nationals with settled/pre-settled status. Please note that we are currently seeking clarity from the Department for Education on how EU students with pre-settled and settled status will be considered in terms of fee status as the studentship only covers home fees.

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