Imperial College London

Professor Martyn A McLachlan

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Materials

Professor of Thin Films, Interfaces and Electronic Devices



+44 (0)20 7594 9692martyn.mclachlan Website




401 HMolecular Sciences Research HubWhite City Campus





The focus of my research has changed since I began my career as a PhD student investigating the self-assembly of optically active structures – this relatively new field of “Photonics” offered the chance to move towards all-optical computers, superfast telecoms and a plethora of exciting stuff…sadly many challenges still exist in the area but significant progress has been made, the field has grown and delivered research and commercial success in the UK and Internationally.

The current research themes of my group are summarised below:

Perovskite photovoltaics

Capability in solution and CVD based deposition routes of active layers for photovoltaic applications.

Oxide thin film deposition

Expertise in a wide-range of physical and chemical deposition techniques for thin-film fabrication.

Structural and microstructural characterisation

Extensive background and current activities in structural characterisation (electron and X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy).

Measuring charge transport in oxide semiconductors

Experience in thin-film measurements techniques, particularly involving field effect transistors (FETs) and Hall effect.

Optoelectronic properties of thin films

Probing conductivity/resistivity measurements in functional thin films (4-probe, Hall), work-function determination (Kelvin probe) and defect type (photoluminescence).

Novel deposition and processing techniques for oxide:organic semiconductors

Developing bespoke deposition apparatus for the controlled growth of oxide and organic semiconductors.

Device fabrication (photovoltaic, light emitting diode, thin film transistor)

Reliant on working devices to probe the influence of processing and composition on measured properties. Expertise in the fabrication and characterisation of a wide-range of optoelectronic devices (photovoltaic, LED, TFT) 

My research is focussed on combining the above activities into a coherent research program. Particularly my motivation is on studying and understanding the interplay between composition, structure and processing on thin-film properties. Of particular interest is the role of defects, both electronic and structural, on measured device and thin film characteristics. It is critical that these variables are not treated in isolation nor that it can be assumed that identical materials will perform and degrade similarly in dissimilar environments.


Guest Lectures

RSC-CCS Symposium on Organic and Molecular Materials for Light Harvesting, Chengdu UniversityTianjin University University of Chemical TechnologyBeijingChina, 2012

Oxides in Plastic Electronics, Nagoya Institute of Technology (NITech), Nagoya, Japan, 2012

The role of metal oxides in plastic electronics, Centre for Plastic Electronics, 2nd Annual CPE WInter School, Bergün, Switzerland, 2012

Optimising the morphology of hybrid photovoltaic devices, King Abdullah University o Science and Technology, Thuwal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 2011

Morphology and structure control of hybrid photovoltaic active layers, Oxford University, Condensed Matter Physics, Department of Physics, 2011

The role of hybrid nanostructures in photovoltaic development, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland, 2011

Developing efficient hybrid photovoltaics, Tyndall National Institute, Cork, Ireland, 2011

Developing hybrid (oxide: organic) photovoltaics, Centre for Plastic Electronics Symposium 2010, Imperial College London, 2010

Hybrid Photovoltaic Heterostructures: Understanding Planar Systems and Developing Nanostructured Devices., International Forum on Clean Energy and Green Economy, Ordos, China, 2010

Research Staff


Research Student Supervision

Costas,J, Nanostructured hybrid LEDs

Downing,J, Structured Inorganic-Organic Hybrid Photovoltaics

Franklin,JB, Solution Processing Methods for ZnO/CuPc Hybrid Photovoltaic Devices

Hewlett,R, Hybrid Electronics

Lavergne,M-A, Crystallisation studies of polymer thin films on ZnO (Feb-Jul 2010)

Ling,Z, Novel fabrication routes for large area colloidal crystals (Meng Oct 2010-Jun 2011)

Petros,E, Water purification and energy generation

Philpott,A, Synthesis of Inverse Opal Nanostructures for Photovoltaic Applications (Meng Oct 2009-Jun 2010)

Yong,A, Water purification and energy generation