Imperial College London

CPE Annual Symposium 2019


Prof Ji-Seon Kim discussed the field of molecular physics as a critical tool for energy and healthcare materials

2019's Symposium on 10 and 11 June featured RSC Corday-Morgan prize winner Prof Erwin Reisner and showcased the work of CPE's researchers

Building on the success of expanding our Annual Symposium into a two-day event in recent years, the 2019 Symposium again took the format of two days of talks, posters and networking and brought together hundreds of students and scientists from across both the CPE at Imperial College London and the wider plastic electronics community as we welcomed external speakers and delegates to join us.

Our Annual Symposium celebrates innovations in molecular design, characterisation and technology from the broader printed electronics community. From perovskites to biosensors, ultra-fast photophysics to solar-driven synthesis of fuels, this year’s event had something for everyone. The exceptional programme meant the lecture theatre in the Royal School of Mines was packed from James Durrant's opening remarks of Day 1 through to the prize giving ceremony on Day 2.

Talks on 10 June began with Prof Kwang-hee Lee from the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST), who kicked off the session with a talk on highly-efficient photostable and printable organic solar cells using novel non-fullerene acceptors. He was followed to the rostrum by PE-CDT Director Prof Ji-Seon Kim, who emphasised the significant contributions that Imperial makes to the field of molecular physics as a tool for energy and healthcare materials. Prof Christine Luscombe had made a particular effort to attend and speak at the Symposium, bringing her four-month old son all the way from Seattle. Christine's talk on bottlenecks in organic nanowires had delegates fascinated. The session closed with flash presentations by a selection of students and researchers who were presenting posters the Symposium. All delegates were invited to vote on their favourite for the first of our prizes generously provided by the Royal Society of Chemistry. Martina Rimmele won the audience choice award for the presentation on her poster Synthesis and Characterisation of Thioalkyl- and Sulfone-substituted Poly(p-phenylenevinylene)s.

"I am glad that as students we also had the opportunity to present our research in the friendly atmosphere the Symposium offered" Martina Rimmele

Delegates at the afternoon sessions heard from Prof Andy Cooper and Prof Iain McCulloch, who were joined by 2018 RSC Corday-Morgan prize winner Prof Erwin Reisner who discussed his work on the development of solar-driven catalysis with molecularly engineered semiconductors and semi-artificial photosynthesis. Erwin surprised everyone that photocatalytic nanoparticles can be used in body disposal! Prof Henry Yan (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) and Dr Artem Bakulin closed out the day.

The second day of the Symposium focused on early career scientists and included sessions on mastering materials, novel devices and applications, next generation solar cells and fuels and spectroscopy and spin in molecular systems.

"I always look forward to the CPE Annual Symposia because the research community at Imperial is very supportive, and there are always interesting talks encompassing a wide range of topics." Thomas Hopper

After welcoming remarks from Day 2 organisers Dr Florian Glocklhofer and Dr Samantha Hood, we heard from two invited external speakers: Dr Oliver Dumele of Humboldt University Berlin who gave a great talk about self-assembled photocatalysts for CO2 reduction and Dr Maria Ibanez from the Institute of Science and Technology in Austria who talked about thermoelectric modules and functional nanomaterials: from pacemakers to satellites. Dr Przemyslaw Gawel, of Oxford University rocked the stage with his amazing carbon allotropes and a stellar effort towards the elusive allotrope cyclocarbyne. Dr Rowenna Brugge of Imperial discussed her work on energy storage with solid state electrolytes.

After a short coffee break, delegates were back in their seats for the second session of the day with application-based talks from Imperial researchers Dr Niloufar Raeis-Hosseini, who introduced memristors based on biomaterials to the interested audience, PhD student Michael Kasimatis, who discussed his research on stretchable electronic devices for wearable medical sensors and Dr Hyejeong Seong who introduced us to iCVD for synthesis of ultra thin polymers for flexible electronics.

It was all about solar in the penultimate session of the Symposium, with Prof Rachel Evans (Cambridge) talking about spectral conversion in luminescent devices, Dr Vanira Trifiletti (Queen Mary University London) who described precursor inks for CZTS solar cells, Thomas Hopper's (Imperial) perovskite party discussing hot carrier dynamics in lead halide perovskite nanocrystals and Dr Ludmilla Steier's (Imperial) research on solar energy and storage with photocatalysis.

Can you believe we had time to squeeze in one last session? Yes, Prof Russell Holmes interrupted his sabbatical from the University of Minnesota to talk to us about his work on device-based probes of exciton transport in organic semiconductors, and we wrapped up with three of my colleagues in physics here at Imperial: Dr Alex Clark talked about molecular quantum photonics, Anna Szumska discussed spintronics in organic materials and Dr Jess Wade describing her research on cicularly polarised luminescence in polymer LEDs.

We all had an awesome time with Rhea Kumar, best designed poster prize winner saying: 

"The CPE Symposium is an excellent amalgamation of exciting research at the forefront of progress across a diverse collection of fields. I first attended the event in 2018 when I was just one week into my PhD and I couldn’t have felt more grateful to be in such a position; a year later I was equally fascinated by the event and the opportunity to be in that environment. It’s amazing to listen to speakers from all over the world, but it’s just as inspiring to learn of the incredible projects going on within Imperial itself. I am thrilled that I was able to present my own work alongside such world-class research."

And Wenjun Xu a PhD student in Henry Anderson's group at Oxford University and winner of the best science poster prize said:

"I had a very good time at the CPE Symposium. The Symposium is well organized and there are many excellent researchers presenting. Attending the Symposium gave me a great opportunity to know more about the work that related to the plastic electronics, including materials synthesis and devices fabrication, and the mechanism research results. I learnt quite a lot of new science and met lots of distinguished researchers. It was a precious experience to attend the CPE Symposium 2019."

We are grateful to all our sponsors and to our judges of the talks and posters - thank you all, see you next year!

CPE Symposium sponsors

CPE Symposium sponsors


Lisa Bushby

Lisa Bushby
Department of Physics