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Development of Emerging Materials for Energy Harvesting Applications


Institute for Materials Discovery

Dr Mojtaba Abdi-Jalebi Applications accepted all year round Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
London United Kingdom Chemical Engineering Electrical Engineering Energy Technologies Materials Science Physical Chemistry

About the Project

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship to join the Functional Materials and Optoelectronic Device group led by Dr Mojtaba Abdi-Jalebi at the Institute for Materials Discovery, University College London.

This is a 3-year funded exciting project, to begin in September 2021, which aims to discover, design and characterise emerging energy materials and optimise them for next generation of energy harvesting devices for Internet of things (IoT) and consumer electronics at UCL Institute for Materials Discovery.

The PhD project will focus on two key areas: (i) the design and development of emerging semiconductor materials and devices including perovskites and perovskite-inspired materials for applications including photovoltaics and photodetectors; and (ii) characterisation of thin-films and devices via the use of time-resolved and impedance spectroscopy as well as structural and morphological techniques to correlate the local recombination and charge transport properties with material structure and device performance. Such understanding will guide better material and device design, in turn pushing devices to higher performances. 

The group’s research focuses on the optical and electronic properties of advanced functional materials particularly emerging semiconductors including metal halide perovskites, nanostructured metal oxides and other organic semiconductors and incorporating them in optoelectronic devices such as solar photovoltaics (PV), photodetectors and light-emitting diodes (LEDs). We investigate novel materials and device photo-physics via spectroscopy as a powerful tool to understand their characteristics in different length and time scales, unveil the origin of instability and maximize the output of the optoelectronic devices. We actively involve in exploitation of the academic research into actual products and bridging the gap between fundamental science and technology exploitation with active industrial collaborations for technology transfer into multiple emerging markets including photovoltaics, the Internet of things (IoT) and consumer electronics. We also have a strong emphasis on making our work accessible to the public through outreach and media activities.

The successful candidate must have (or expect to obtain) a 1st or strong 2:1 degree in materials science/engineering, chemistry, physics, electrical/chemical engineering and/or a broad range of relevant backgrounds with minimum four years of study at University level. Candidates with a keen interest in new materials development, energy materials, thin-film fabrication technology and materials characterisations are encouraged to apply. The project also requires highly practical candidate with keen interest in designing and upgrading a purpose-built thin film characterisation kit or deposition equipment and device fabrication. The successful candidate will have a strong interest in materials design and experimental work. They should demonstrate strong initiative and a desire to learn and ability to innovate, as well as excellent oral and written communication skills, good team working skills, and a strong critical thinking capability. 

The successful candidate will conduct research in the state-of-the-art new Materials Discovery laboratory with a well-funded consumables budget and access to a wide range of experimental facilities. This highly interdisciplinary research will involve many national and international academic and industrial collaborations. The group provides a dynamic, collaborative, interdisciplinary environment with diverse, talented researchers.

Applications must include a full CV, written work (e.g. research statement) and covering letter providing information on why you would be suitable for this opportunity and funding. Applications to be sent directly to Dr Mojtaba Abdi-Jalebi ().

The position will be available until a suitable candidate is found.


Funding Notes

The studentship would cover tuition fees and annual stipend of at least the Research Council minimum (currently £16,057) for eligible UK applicants. International and EU students may also be accepted on a self-funding basis.

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