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Novel optical spectroscopy approaches for semiconductor material analysis

Project Description

A fully funded PhD studentship is available to start in September 2020 in Dr Stoichko Dimitrov’s group.

Research Environment

The School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at Queen Mary is one of the UK’s elite research centres, according to the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). We offer a multi-disciplinary research environment and have approximately 160 PhD students working on projects in the biological, chemical and psychological sciences. Our students have access to a variety of research facilities supported by experienced staff, as well as a range of student support services.

The Dimitrov lab is an experimental Photochemistry and Photophysics group, which builds and applies experimental spectroscopy tools to develop novel functional nanomaterials and semiconductors, mostly for solar energy harvesting technologies. Our interest is in understanding the response of materials to light excitation on the femtosecond to millisecond timescales and the resulting implications for material’s performance in devices like solar cells. Our approach is to use time-resolved laser spectroscopy techniques like transient absorption and photoluminescence spectroscopy in combination with material and device fabrication to discover new opportunities for performance enhancement. We collaborate extensively with synthetic chemists and engineers from QMUL, the University of Cambridge, UCL, Imperial College London and Swansea University working on novel organic and perovskite materials.

Training and Development

Our PhD students become part of Queen Mary’s Doctoral College which provides training and development opportunities, advice on funding, and financial support for research. Our students also have access to a Researcher Development Programme designed to help recognise and develop key skills and attributes needed to effectively manage research, and to prepare and plan for the next stages of their career.

The PhD student will develop expertise in Laser spectroscopy, Semiconductor materials and Photochemistry. They will also build core skills in data analysis using Python or Matlab and Labview for instrument development.

Project Details

Context. Solution-processed perovskite and organic semiconductors are actively developed for optoelectronic applications like solar cells and lasers, and photocatalysis. However, depending on the technology many challenges exist and they vary from performance and stability limitations to difficulties in scale-up, all of which are closely relevant to the chemistry and micro-structure of the semiconductor. The Dimitrov group is recruiting a PhD student with an interest in laser spectroscopy and materials science to develop novel approaches for spectroscopic analysis of devices and using which to build new knowledge of their structure-function properties.

Project. The successful candidate will conduct experimental work developing laser spectroscopy experiments and solar cell devices to investigate the photochemistry and photophysics of perovskite and organic semiconductors. They will also acquire hands-on expertise in solar cell fabrication and processing, whilst conducting extensive data analysis steps to unravel key material properties. State-of-the-art laser spectroscopy and electron microscopy facilities at QMUL, Imperial College London and the Central Laser Facility at Didcot will be utilised for fundamental investigations. Devices and material processing will be conducted in the wet-chemistry lab and the clean room of QMUL’s Chemistry and Physics departments.

The student will have the chance to travel to UK national and international conferences and collaborate with world leading groups from Imperial College London, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, Forschungszentrum Jülich and SPECIFIC IKC.

Aim. The project aims to advance the field of organic and perovskite optoelectronics by working on the following objectives.

- To develop novel laser spectroscopy experiments that resolve key structure and function relationships of perovskite and organic solar cell devices.
- To apply the new experiments to understand how chemical and micro-structural modifications of semiconductors impact upon their photophysical and photochemical properties.

Useful links.

Eligibility and Applying

Applications are invited from outstanding UK/EU candidates with or expecting to receive a master’s degree in an area relevant to the project, inlcuding Laser spectroscopy, Photochemistry, Materials Science, Semiconductor Physics. A standalone master’s degree, or undergraduate integrated master’s degree awarded with at lease upper second class honours are acceptable.

Applicants from outside of the UK are required to provide evidence of their English language ability. Please see our English language requirements page for details:

Applicants are encouraged to contact Dr Dimitrov on prior to their submission by sending a CV and a description of their interests and expertise relevant to the project. Formal applications should be submitted online by the stated deadline.

The School of Biological and Chemical Sciences is committed to promoting diversity in science; we have been awarded an Athena Swan Bronze Award. We positively welcome applications from underrepresented groups.

Funding Notes

This studentship is open to UK/EU applicants and is funded by Queen Mary University of London. It will cover tuition fees, and provide an annual tax-free maintenance allowance for 3 years at the Research Council rate (£17,285 in 2020/21).

How good is research at Queen Mary University of London in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 14.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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