Research

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Research Objective

 

Our goal is to image, understand and eventually control opto electronic process in novel light harvesting materials and architectures. While optoelectronic processes in traditional light harvesting materials such as silicon are well understood, there is an enormous range of inorganic, organic or hybrid materials, that have the potential to produce cost effective photo voltaic or photo catalytic materials but a lot of their fundamental opto electronic processes are yet to be understood to enable a systematic development and optimization of these materials.

We are specifically interested in nano scale materials for two main reasons: 1. The smaller a material, the easier to extract the photo charges from the light absorbing material before it has the chance to recombine and therefore being lost. 2. Material properties change substantially at the nano scale. Latter is a fascinating challenge since a lot of novel fundamental material properties need to be explored (dream of any scientist) while the novel insight can be directly applied for the design of novel light harvesting systems.

Currently we are focused on characterizing opto electronic properties in inorganic semiconducting and metal oxide nanowire systems, inorganic nano crystal assemblies and small molecule organic semiconductors. We use and develop a complementary set of state of the art Scanning Probe Microscopy techniques including near field optical microscopy, Kelvin Probe/Scanning Capacitance Force Microscopy and photo Low Temperature Scanning Tunneling Microscopy.

We are blessed to be part of the Molecular Foundry – one of the most interdisciplinary and collaborative nano research centers. 6 complementary facilities integrate the expertise of physicists, chemists, biologists and engineers, covering in house state of the art synthesis and fabrication of nanoscale materials, their characterization and the modeling to develop a complete understanding of physical and chemical properties of nano building blocks. The Molecular Foundry provides an exciting and buzzing environment with a dynamic idea exchange due to the fact that we are also a user facility where scientist from all over the world come to and solve their scientific question using our expertise and state of the art equipment. This ultimate collaborative approach to science created a true nano science hub  and we invite you to contact us if the research and instrumentation described here awakes your interest.