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Hybrid Polyoxometalate-Polymer Solar Cells and Field Effect Transistors (FIELDENJ3U19SF)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, May 31, 2019
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Polyoxometalates (POMs) are a large class of molecular metal oxide clusters, with a wide range of structures and useful properties.(i) Amongst these is the ability to accept one or more electrons into a highly delocalized LUMO at accessible potentials (0 to -1.5 V vs NHE).(ii) This occurs without degradation or structural change, so electron transfer is fast, the POMs are stable to redox cycling, and can be considered as zero-dimensional semiconductors. Even so, efforts to incorporate POMs into devices, such as solar cells, are still in their infancy.(iii)

We are exploring the optical, photophysical and electrochemical properties of polyoxometalates derivatized with organic groups through imido-linkages,(iv),(v) including electropolymers containing covalently grafted polyoxometalates. These can be electrodeposited on a wide range of surfaces and show a high loading of POM that is much more stable than in similar materials based on non-covalent association. This PhD project will expand the family of these materials, investigate their properties (charge transport, light absorption) and develop devices where POM-containing polymers are combined with suitable electron donor polymers. It offers a training in molecular inorganic and organic synthesis, characterisation, and physical measurement of both molecular and materials properties. Based in the well-equipped, interdisciplinary Energy Materials Laboratory at UEA, it also involves collaboration with leading international groups. The successful applicant will have, or expect to obtain a first class, 2(i) or equivalent Honours degree in chemistry, and a strong interest in synthetic inorganic chemistry and materials properties. There will be opportunities for Chinese applicants to obtain funding for a project on this topic via our joint PhD programme with SUSTech in Shenzhen. Please contact Dr John Fielden (, 01603 593137) for further information.

For more information on the supervisor for this project, please go here:

Type of programme: PhD

Project start date: October 2019

Mode of study: Full time

Entry requirements: The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1.

Funding Notes

This PhD project is offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with funding or those applying to funding sources. Details of tuition fees can be found at View Website.

A bench fee is also payable on top of the tuition fee to cover specialist equipment or laboratory costs required for the research. The amount charged annually will vary considerably depending on the nature of the project and applicants should contact the primary supervisor for further information about the fee associated with the project.


i) D.-L. Long, L. Cronin, Dalton Trans. 2012, 41, 9815.

ii) M. Sadakane, E. Steckhan, Chem. Rev. 1998, 98, 219.

iii) H. El Moll, F. A. Black, C. J. Wood, A. Al-Yasari, A. R. Marri, I. V. Sazanovich, E. A. Gibson, J. Fielden, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2017, 19, 18831.

iv) A. Al-Yasari, N. Van Steerteghem, H. El Moll, K. Clays, J. Fielden, Dalton Trans. 2016, 45, 2818.

v) A. Al-Yasari, N. Van Steerteghem, H. Kearns, H. El Moll, K. Faulds, J. Wright, B. S. Brunschwig, K. Clays, J. Fielden, Inorg. Chem. 2017, 56, 10181.

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