MRes in Soft Electronic Materials: We are now accepting applications for October 2023 entry!

The 12-month, 90-ECTS, Bologna-compliant, MRes in Soft Electronic Materials aims to provide a thorough foundation in the science and application of soft electronic materials. 

Visit the Centre for Processable Electronics website for more details. 

PhD studentships are available for 2023 Entry

The exciting projects on offer with Prof Ji-Seon Kim in 2023 are detailed below! Please e-mail Ji-Seon Kim for more information.

New PhD Studentships 
 Project JSK 1:  Organic Solar Cells – what is the origin of energetic loss?

This project aims to identify the molecular origins of energetic differences at donor-acceptor interfaces to get a complete picture of voltage losses induced by energetic offset; within the context of various non-fullerene based organic solar cells. You will investigate the energetics of organic semiconductors in pure and mixed phases via combined photoemission and surface photovoltage spectroscopy techniques. Furthermore, the subtle structural differences of donor and acceptors in their pure phases compared to wellmixed interfaces will be identified by Raman spectroscopy, followed by understanding their impact on the energetics. Surface photovoltage spectroscopy to understand the quasi-fermi level splitting upon illumination and its correlation with device open circuit voltage will be a novel experimental approach in the field of organic solar cells. This project will also involve theoretical simulations of molecules in terms of energy levels and molecular structures utilizing density functional theory.

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Project JSK 2: 2D/3D Perovskites for Efficient Solar Cells

‌‌Recently, 2-dimensional (2D)/3D perovskite solar cells have attracted great research interest due to their potential to overcome the single-junction Shockley–Queisser theoretical efficiency limit, as well as to reduce the high trap state density and instability of 3D perovskite solar cells. In this project, we will first control the energy levels of perovskite layers via their dimensionality control (3D and 2D/3D) with varying composition and stoichiometry (applying different cations and anions in the 2D perovskite). We will then identify the nature of trap states in these dimensionality-controlled perovskite layers. The energy levels together with the trap state distribution will be investigated by using ambient photoemission spectroscopy (APS), which will be complemented by surface photovoltage (SPV) measurements to investigate the impact of cascaded energy levels and trap states on photogenerated charge carriers. Finally, the impact of dimensionalitycontrolled perovskites and their trap states on solar cell performance (efficiency and stability) will be investigated. The advanced spectroscopy techniques such as APS and SPV are relatively new and our expertise in this area will be crucial for the success of the project. The project will also include simulation of APS signals and/or one-dimensional drift-diffusion modelling of device performance and surface photovoltage.

 Project JSK 3:  Organic Biosensors for Noninvasive Diagnostics

This project aims to develop printable and flexible organic biosensors fabricated from solution-processed conjugated polymers for noninvasive diagnostics with high sensitivity, responsivity and reliability.

Tan, E., Kim, J., Stewart, K., Pitsalidis, C., Kwon, S., Siemons, N., . . . Kim, J. -S. (2022). The Role of Long-Alkyl-Group Spacers in Glycolated Copolymers for High Performance Organic Electrochemical Transistors.. Adv Mater, e2202574. doi:10.1002/adma.202202574 

Limbu, S., Stewart, K., Nightingale, J., Yan, H., Balamurugan, C., Hong, S., . . . Kim, J. -S. (2021). Solid-State Ionic Liquid: Key to Efficient Detection and Discrimination in Organic Semiconductor Gas Sensors. ACS APPLIED ELECTRONIC MATERIALS, 3(5), 2152-2163. doi:10.1021/acsaelm.1c00157

Kwon, S., Pak, Y., Kim, B., Park, B., Kim, J., Kim, G., . . . Lee, K. (2020). Molecular-level electrochemical doping for fine discrimination of volatile organic compounds in organic chemiresistors. JOURNAL OF MATERIALS CHEMISTRY A, 8(33), 16884-16891. doi:10.1039/d0ta05530a

Stewart, K., Limbu, S., Nightingale, J., Pagano, K., Park, B., Hong, S., . . . Kim, J. -S. (2020). Molecular understanding of a pi-conjugated polymer/solid-state ionic liquid complex as a highly sensitive and selective gas sensor. JOURNAL OF MATERIALS CHEMISTRY C, 8(43), 15268-15276. doi:10.1039/d0tc03093g

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Undergraduate Projects

Lisa was one of the BSc project students in our group (2019/2020) working on the Photostability of Organic Photovoltaics Based on Non-fullerene Acceptors. We are very pleased to hear her research experience in our group and also congratulate her for the 1st class mark on her project!

UG student research experience in Nanoanalysis group from Lisa Winkler:

“I undertook a project in the nanoanalysis group as part of my bachelor’s project within my physics degree. Overall, it was a great experience. Professor Ji-Seon Kim and her students provided a lot of support and resources in order for me to feel comfortable with the research area, whilst also giving guidance on working and presenting results as a research student. From the beginning, I was able to work on experimental techniques, such as Raman spectroscopy, and was soon put in charge of producing such results myself. It was a steep learning curve, and whilst learning about how to measure and analyse results effectively, I had to grasp some complicated theoretical concepts underpinning the research itself. I learnt a lot in a very short space of time within the group, and I was able to contribute to a novel area of research with very important real world applications”.