Modern semiconductor technologies are based on crystalline materials with well-defined physical and electronic structures.
However, molecular materials, such as organic semiconductors, may present interesting opportunities through disordered structures.
The focus of this project will be on conjugated 2D materials without long-range order: molecular glasses. Through control of the chemical composition, atomic bonding motifs, and lateral size, we will be able to modify the properties of these materials.
Our focus will be on synthesising and studying these new materials to better understand the relationship between their structure and their functional properties, particularly their electronic properties.
In this project, we will design, grow and characterise 2D molecular materials. This work will span a range of theoretical and experimental tools.
We'll use quantum chemistry approaches to predict what structure and properties can be expected from different molecular precursors.
We'll then polymerise the molecules through standard approaches for on-surface synthesis. The focus in this project will be on using ultrahigh vacuum growth techniques, such as chemical vapour deposition and molecular beam epitaxy, to deposit molecules on a flat surface.
We'll then interrogate the properties of the material using a range of techniques, including:
- x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS)
- scanning tunneling microscopy (STM)
- ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS)
- inverse photoelectron spectroscopy (IPES).
This will alllow us to understand the chemistry, structure and electronic properties (i.e., HOMO-LUMO gap) of the material.
2D organic materials are excellent candidates for next-generation technologies, including:
- electronic devices
- opto-electronics applications
- energy storage.
Through this project, we will better understand how disorder can move from being a disadvantage to an advantage.
Skills and experience
We prefer if you have a background in physics (especially condensed matter) or chemistry. Experience in relevant experimental and theoretical techniques would also be advantageous.
You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.
Contact the supervisor for more information.