Project Area 1: Controlling decoherence in the singlet fission process | ARC Centre of Excellence in Exciton Science

We aim to control decoherence in the singlet fission process through molecular design and the influence of external control over the evolving film morphology.

In contrast to the commonly used crystalline materials, we use an “amorphous” intramolecular triplet host.

In these compounds, the dephasing can be controlled by manipulating the local energy landscape molecular reorganisation in the excited state.

The role of inter- and intramolecular interactions in the singlet fission 

Supervisor: A. Köhler, Experimental Physics, UBT

Co-supervisor: D. Jones, Chemistry, UoM; H. Oberhofer, Theoretical Physics, UBT

One approach to highly efficient solar cells consists in the use of singlet fission, where an excited spin-singlet state decays into two spin-triplet excited states.

The fission process can proceed better if the molecules involved are well aligned.

In this project, the PhD student will prepare films with molecular alignment and use optical spectroscopy during the film preparation process to study how a singlet state dephases into two triplet states and what the role of molecular orientation and intermolecular interaction is in this process.

Self-assembly of discotic liquid crystalline singlet fission (SF) materials

Project sketch Self-assembly of discotic liquid crystalline singlet fission (SF) materials

Supervisor: D. Jones, Chemistry, UoM 

Co-supervisor: A. Köhler, Experimental Physics, UBT; T. Smith, Chemistry, UoM 

Incorporation of SF materials into solar cells offers the potential to reduce the cost per Watt of delivered power by up to 25-30%.

In this project, we will synthesise intramolecular SF chromophores with secondary self-assembly characteristics, characterise their SF properties, and determine the impact of molecular orientation of SF yields.

The role of the bridging linker between SF chromophores and the nature of the solubilising side-chains will be examined. 

Singlet fission

Supervisor: T. Smith, Chemistry, UoM

Co-supervisor: A. Köhler, Experimental Physics, UBT; D. Jones, Chemistry, UoM 

Singlet fission (SF) is considered one potential path to break the efficiency limit of single junction solar cells, where the excess energy from a high energy absorption is shared with a neighbouring chromophore.

The detection and identification of the intermediate species involved in the singlet fission process is crucial to controlling and optimising this process. 

Trevor, together with Prof. Anna Köhler and David Jones, is currently seeking a student to conduct a project in ultrafast decoherence processes detected by pump-probe spectroscopy.

Related experimental techniques can also be used to control the fate of excitons. 

Another project, working in conjunction with other projects on exciton logic is investigating the use of timed multiple ultrafast laser pulse sequences to control the photophysical behaviour of excitonic materials.

These projects will suit students with an interest in ultrafast laser spectroscopy.