PhD position in experimental study of Electro-optical properties of 2D heterostructures including organic semiconductors

We are seeking a talented PhD student to join our team and experimentaly investigate the electro-optical properties of 2D heterostructures and organic semiconductors. The ideal candidate will have a strong background in solid state physics and intuition to perform experimental research. The successful candidate will be responsible for developing and implementing advanced techniques for characterizing the properties of these materials, as well as for designing and conducting experiments to gain deeper insights into their behavior. The candidate will learn how to prepare 2D heterostructures including organic semiconductors and study their applicability by preparing novel electronic components, organic thin film transistors, photodetectors, organic solar cells, memory components, energy-harvesting components, and bio-mimetic components e.g. biosensors. The selected candidate will be immediately employed and involved in the experimental research in Laboratory for Organic Matter Physics.


  • Preparation of 2D heterostructures including organic semiconductors;
  • Develop and implement advanced techniques for characterizing the electro-optical properties of 2D heterostructures;
  • Design and conduct experiments to investigate the behavior of these materials under different conditions;
  • Analyse data and interpret results to gain insights into the fundamental properties of these materials;
  • Collaborate with other researchers to advance our understanding of 2D heterostructures and their potential applications;
    • Publish research findings in leading scientific journals and present work at national and international conferences.

For more check this link:

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Our team has an open position for a PhD candidate. Highlights:

  • State-of-the-art lab 
  • Network of world-renowned researches 
  • Full funding 
  • Top career opportunity
  • International team

Candidate will get strong experience in the area of fabrication and characterization of charge transport and electronic properties of two-dimensional materials such as graphene or graphene-related materials, and/or electronic charge transport characterization of thin films of advanced high-mobility organic semiconductors. The selected candidate will become a member of Laboratory of Organic Matter Physics (


2D heterostructures, organic semiconductors, sensors, FET, photodetectors, neuromorphic devices, time-of-flight photoconductivy, SNOM and AFM, photolithography, clean room.

The position is available immediately. 

Cordially invited to contact us here.

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Multiresponsive Nonvolatile Memories Based on Optically Switchable Ferroelectric Organic Field‐Effect Transistors

Our group was involved in research of novel type of organic transistors. Organic transistors are key elements for flexible, wearable, and biocompatible logic applications. Multiresponsivity is highly sought‐after in organic electronics to enable sophisticated operations and functions. Such a challenge can be pursued by integrating more components in a single device, each one responding to a specific external stimulus. Here, the first multiresponsive organic device based on a photochromic–ferroelectric organic field‐effect transistor, which is capable of operating as nonvolatile memory with 11 bit memory storage capacity in a single device, is reported. The memory elements can be written and erased independently by means of light or an electric field, with accurate control over the readout signal, excellent repeatability, fast response, and high retention time. Such a proof of concept paves the way toward enhanced functional complexity in optoelectronics via the interfacing of multiple components in a single device, in a fully integrated low‐cost technology compatible with flexible substrates. These findings were published in Advanced Materials.

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Designing new renewable nano-structured electrode and membrane materials for direct alkaline ethanol fuel cell

Success Story: The NanoElMem project reached its final success. The project presents an innovative approach towards the design and fabrication of materials for the creation of direct alkaline ethanol fuel cells (DAEFC). Emphasis was put on the development of platinum (Pt)-free anode catalysts and nano-composite membranes, where environmentally friendly and sustainable polysaccharides and inorganic materials were employed. The vast potential of graphene, from a scientific and applied point of view, was harnessed as an active component in polysaccharide-based nanocomposite membranes.

Schematic view of mixed ionic-electronic conductivity of bio-based polysaccharide-graphene oxide ion-exchange membrane of alkaline ethanol fuel cell.

In order to arrive at an innovative and efficient product by the end of the project’s run, the work-plan has been constructed around the current technical obstacles, that limit full implementation of fuel cells in a commercial scale; by directly addressing these limitations, i.e. cost, performance and durability. Reducing the costs of existing fuel cells was achieved by development of highly active ethanol oxidation reaction (EOR) catalysts and noble metal free oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) catalysts. Catalysts synthesis routes were published in three high-impact journals (in 2021 Journal of Energy Chemistry, in 2019 Advanced Material Interfaces, in 2019 Applied Catalysis B: Environmental)

In terms of performance, DAEFCs struggle mainly with relatively low power density. This major technical problem was tackled by the design of ion-exchange membranes with enhanced efficiency and durability while maintaining low costs. Here, bio-based polysaccharide polymers were used, which served as the matrix for newly synthesized (N)-doped and quaternized graphene oxide (GO) nano-fillers, which improved membrane ion conductivity, thermal and mechanical stability, and prevented ethanol crossover through cross-linked membranes. Membrane preparation and characteristic were presented in ACS sustainable chemistry & engineering.

In course of the project, Abalonyx has developed a new nitrogen doped graphene oxide, of which preparation has been standardized and a protocol for larger scale preparation is being prepared. The product was launched for sale in October 2020 through Abalonyx online offerings and through distributors in UK, Japan and USA. The product was not patented, the preparation method is being kept as trade secret.

Project presented significant scientific impact with 4 published scientific articles in high-impact journals, 21 conference contributions, of which 5 were invited lectures. At the moment of writing, 2 articles are under revision, among them one is review article on the topic of anion exchange membranes and 2 articles in preparation phase.

Announcement of Success story

The project was financed in the frame of M-era.NET program (NanoElMem – Designing new renewable nano-structured electrode and membrane materials for direct alkaline ethanol fuel cell), grant number C3330-17-500098.

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A pyrrolopyridazinedione-based copolymer for fullerene-free organic solar cells

Our group was involved in the charge transport study of non-fullerene acceptors in organic photovoltaics. Recent success in this field also entails a change in the requirements to the polymer donor in terms of optical and morphological properties leading to a demand for novel conjugated polymers. In the published paper it is reported on the synthesis of a 1,4-bis-(thiophene-2-yl)-pyrrolopyridazinedione based copolymer with 2-ethylhexyl substituents on the pyrrolopyridazinedione moiety. A 2D conjugated benzodithiophene (BDT) was chosen as comonomer. The resulting copolymer T-EHPPD-T-EHBDT showed a molecular weight of 10.2 kDa, an optical band gap of 1.79 eV, a hole mobility of 1.8 × 10−4 cm2 V−1 s−1 and a preferred face-on orientation with regard to the substrate. The comparably wide band gap as well as the determined energy levels (HOMO: −5.47 eV, LUMO: −3.68 eV) match well with the narrow band gap non-fullerene acceptor ITIC-F, which was used as the acceptor phase in the bulk heterojunction absorber layers in the investigated solar cells. The solar cells, prepared in inverted architecture, revealed power conversion efficiencies up to 7.4% using a donor:acceptor ratio of 1 : 1 in the absorber layer. The work is published in

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Molecular alignment on graphene surface determines transport properties of graphene/organic semiconductor transistors

Graphene field-effect transistor structures were used to investigate the role of molecular alignment on charge transport properties of heterostructures comprising a single-layer graphene and variable thickness of N,N′-bis(n- octyl)-(1,7&1,6)-dicyanoperylene-3,4:9,10-bisdicarboximide (PDI8-CN2) – an n-type organic semiconductor. Our atomic force microscopy data show that under selected growth conditions PDI8-CN2 grows in a layer-by-layer fashion up to a second monolayer. The first layer comprises flat-lying molecules, whereas the molecules in the second layer orient themselves in an upright orientation. Transconductance measurements show that the flat-lying molecules have little effect on the position of the Fermi level in graphene. Upright oriented molecules in the second layer instead, have a strong effect as to neutralize native p-type doping of graphene and cause a shift of charge-neutrality level towards the Dirac point. We interpret such behavior in terms of different orientation of the surface dipole on layers with different molecular orientations. At the same time the overall mobility of the charge carriers reaches values exceeding 3000 cm2/Vs. Read more.

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Impedimetric, PEDOT:PSS-Based Organic Electrochemical Sensor for Detection of Histamine for Precision Animal Agriculture

Our research on mixed ion-electron conductivity involved us into a collaboration to develop a histamine biosensor. High concentrations of histamine are associated with subacute ruminal acidosis, a common disease in high-producing lactating dairy cows. Therefore, the accurate detection of low histamine levels is a strategy to monitor and diagnose ruminal acidosis in early stages. For that purpose we have developed an impedimetric histamine biosensor based on an organic semiconductor: poly (3,4-ethylenedioxythiophene) polystyrene sulfonate (PEDOT:PSS). The sensor can be utilized to detect low concentrations of histamine in a phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) buffer and McDougall’s buffer solution (MDBS) with an impedimetric readout technique. With PEDOT:PSS film as the sensing medium, the device displayed a limit of detection of 0.1 μM and an impedance of ∼82 􏰓 at low frequencies in MDBS. More details are available in IEEE Sensors Letters.

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Elucidation of Donor:Acceptor Phase Separation in Nonfullerene Organic Solar Cells and Its Implications on Device Perfor- mance and Charge Carrier Mobility

A joint study revealed that in bulk-heterojunction solar cells, the device performance strongly depends on the donor and acceptor properties, the phase separation in the absorber layer, and the formation of a bicontinuous network. While this phase separation is well explored for polymer:fullerene solar cells, only little is known for polymer:nonfullerene acceptor solar cells. The main hurdle in this regard is often the chemical similarity of the conjugated polymer donor and the organic nonfullerene acceptor (NFA), which makes the analysis of the phase separation via atomic force microscopic (AFM) phase images or conventional transmission electron microscopy difficult. In this work, we use the donor polymer PTB7-Th and the small molecule acceptor O-IDTBR as the model system and visualized the phase separation in PTB7-Th:O-IDTBR bulk-heterojunctions with different donor:acceptor ratios via scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) high-angle annular dark-field (HAADF) images and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) based elemental mapping, which resulted in a good contrast between the donor and the acceptor despite very low differences in the chemical composition. AFM as well as grazing-incidence wide-angle X-ray scattering (GIWAXS) investigations support the electron microscopic data. Furthermore, we elucidate the implications of the phase separation on the device performance as well as charge carrier mobilities in the bulk-heterojunction layers, and a high performance of the solar cells was found over a relatively broad range of polymer domain sizes. This can be related to the larger domain sizes of the acceptor phase with higher amounts of O-IDTBR in the blend, while the polymer donor phase still forms continuous pathways to the electrode, which keeps the hole mobility at a relatively constant level. More here.

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Novel Chitosan–Mg(OH)2 -Based Nanocomposite Membranes for Direct Alkaline Ethanol Fuel Cells

We have been involved in a project NanoElMem of novel polymer-based nanocomposite anion-exchange membranes (AEMs) with improved features for direct alkaline fuel cell applications. AEMs based on chitosan (CS), magnesium hydroxide (Mg(OH)2), and graphene oxide (GO) with benzyltrimethylammonium chloride (BTMAC) as the hydroxide conductor were fabricated by a solvent casting method. To impart better mechanical properties and suppressed swelling, the enzymatic cross-linking with dodecyl 3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoate having C-10 alkyl chain was employed. The structure and surface morphology, KOH uptake and swelling ratio, ethanol permeability, mechanical property, ionic conductivity, cell performance, and stability of AEMs were investigated. The as-obtained AEMs showed improved hydroxide conductivity compared with previously reported CS AEMs. The highest value for hydroxide conductivity, 142.5 ± 4.0 mS cm–1 at 40 °C, was achieved for the CS + Mg(OH)2+ GO + BTMAC AEMs with an ethanol permeability value of 6.17 × 10–7 ± 1.17 × 10–7 cm2 s–1 in spite of its relative high KOH uptake (1.43 g KOH/g membrane). The highest peak power density value of 72.7 mW cm–2 was obtained at 209 mA cm–2 when the pristine CS + Mg(OH)2 AEM was used as the polymer electrolyte membrane in the direct alkaline ethanol fuel cell at 80 °C. This is the highest reported power density value for CS-based membranes. More here.M

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Enhancement of Charge Transport in Polythiophene Semi- conducting Polymer by Blending with Graphene Nanoparticles

We presented a study on the charge transport in a composite of liquid‐exfoliated graphene nanoparticles (GNPs) and a polythiophene semiconducting polymer. While the former component is highly conducting, although it consists of isolated nanostructures, the latter offers an efficient charge transport path between the individual GNPs within the film, overall yielding enhanced charge transport properties of the resulting bi‐component system. The electrical characteristics of the composite layers were investigated by means of measurements of time‐of‐flight photoconductivity and transconductance in field‐effect transistors. In order to analyze both phenomena separately, charge density and charge mobility contributions to the conductivity were singled out. With the increasing GNP concentration, the charge mobility was found to increase, thereby reducing the time spent by the carriers on the polymer chains. In addition, for GNP loading above 0.2 % (wt.), an increase of free charge density was observed that highlights an additional key role played by doping. Variable‐range hopping model of a mixed two‐ and three‐dimensional transport is explained using temperature dependence of mobility and free charge density. The temperature variation of free charge density was related to the electron transfer from polythiophene to GNP, with an energy barrier of 24 meV. More here.

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