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Fundamental physics studies in different aspects of organic semiconductor materials, aiming to understand the physics at the detailed quantum mechanical level

Members of the Optoelectronics Group carry out fundamental physics studies in different aspects of organic semiconductor materials. Their objective is to understand the physics at the detailed quantum mechanical level. There is a close link with the application of this research through the formation of successful spin-off companies and through the winning of large strategic grants. The group is part of the Opto- and Microelectronics Sector.

The group is interested in the physics of semiconducting conjugated polymers. These are long-chain organic molecules made from conjugated units such as benzene. They are inherently quantum mechanical objects with nanometer sized dimensions, and many of their observable optical and electrical properties can only be understood when adopting a quantum mechanical description.

In the late 1980's, the group discovered that these conjugated polymers behave in many respects like inorganic semiconductors and can be used in a number of semiconducting devices such as field-effect transistors, light-emitting diodes and solar cells. These pioneering discoveries were important milestones for the field of organic electronics, which has now developed into a large international research field with significant academic and industrial activities.

The group has commercialised some of its scientific discoveries through formation of two spin-off companies: Cambridge Display Technology is developing polymer LEDs technology for emissive, full-colour displays, and Plastic Logic is using organic transistors to enable flexible paper-like displays. The group recently announced plans for forming a third spin-off company to accelerate the development of polymer solar cells with financial support from the Carbon Trust.

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Recent Submissions

  • Perovskite/Colloidal Quantum Dot Tandem Solar Cells: Theoretical Modeling and Monolithic Structure 

    Greenham, Neil Clement; Karani, Arfa; Di, Dawei; Yang, Le
    Metal-halide perovskite-based tandem solar cells show great promise for overcoming the Shockley-Queisser single-junction efficiency limit via low-cost tandem structures, but so far they employ conventional bottom-cell ...
  • Organic solar cells based on non-fullerene acceptors. 

    Hou, Jianhui; Inganäs, Olle; Friend, Richard Henry; Gao, Feng (2018-01)
  • Order enables efficient electron-hole separation at an organic heterojunction with a small energy loss. 

    Menke, Stephen Matthew; Cheminal, Alexandre Georges; Conaghan, Patrick; Ran, Niva A; Greehnam, Neil C; Bazan, Guillermo C; Nguyen, Thuc-Quyen et al. (Springer Nature, 2018-01-18)
    Donor-acceptor organic solar cells often show low open-circuit voltages (VOC) relative to their optical energy gap (Eg) which limit power conversion efficiencies to around 12%. This energy loss is attributed, in part, to ...
  • Singlet exciton fission in solution 

    Walker, Brian J; Musser, Andrew Joseph; Beljonne, David; Friend, Richard Henry (Nature Publishing Group, 2013-11-17)
    Singlet exciton fission, the spin-conserving process that produces two triplet excited states from one photoexcited singlet state, is a means to circumvent the Shockley–Queisser limit in single-junction solar cells. Although ...

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