Project title: Design of High Absorption Organic Semiconductors for Applications to Solar Cells and Light Emission

Supervisors: Prof Jenny Nelson, Dr Johannes Lischner

Project description: 

Organic semiconductors are of great interest for a variety of devices including solar cells and light emitting devices, whose efficiency depend on many properties, such as the absorption strength within the visible spectrum. Recent studies suggest that the molecular organisation in a polymer film can have a great effect on the absorption strength without changing the material’s chemical composition [1]. However, there are few theoretical tools to calculate the optical properties of a molecular semiconductor efficiently and accurately. The long-term goal of this project is predicting spatially averaged optical properties of a material using the knowledge of the excited states on an atomic scale and a given molecular organisation. This work is intended to understand the optical absorption properties of known compounds and thus to assist the design of new organic materials exhibiting high optical absorption.

[1] M. S. Vezie, S. Few, J.M. Frost, I. Meager, I. McCulloch, M. Campoy-Quiles and J. Nelson. Influence of backbone structure, molecular weight and conformation on the light harvesting properties of a conjugated polymer. In submission.