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Post-doctoral Researchers

EOI Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Actions: Enhancing efficiency and thermal stability of solar cells through ultrastable PVD organic glasses

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The mission of the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) is to achieve the highest level of scientific and technological excellence in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. Its research lines focus on the newly-discovered physical and chemical properties that arise from the behavior of matter at the nanoscale. ICN2 has been awarded with the Severo Ochoa Centre of Excellence distinction for two consecutive periods (2014-2018 and 2018-2022). ICN2 comprises 19 research groups, 7 technical development and support units and facilities, and 2 research platforms, covering different areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

This is a call for expressions of interest from excellent postdoctoral researchers to apply for a Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship with ICN2 as host institution. Specifically, we are inviting expressions of interest for the following research group and project.

DESCRIPTION OF HOST RESEARCH GROUP

Host group: Thermal Properties of Nanoscale Materials

Group Leader: Prof. Javier Rodríguez-Viejo
Fellowship supervisor: Dr. Cristián Rodríguez-Tinoco

The Group of Thermal Properties of Nanoscale Materials (GTNaM) at ICN2 focus its activities around the study of thermal properties of glassy (disordered) and nanoscale materials, with special focus on the ultrathin film limit and low-dimensional solids. In particular, we have been working on stable vapor-deposited organic glasses and some of their applications for the past 12 years. Recent works include: the increase efficiency of organic light-emitting devices (OLEDS) using ultrastable glasses (Sci. Adv. 2018), the transformation mechanisms of stable glasses (Phys. Rev. Lett. 2019 and 2020), the absence of two-level systems in the low-temperature regime (PNAS, 2014) and the anisotropy in the thermal transport of these materials (Phys. Rev. Mat. 2018), among many other works. A new twist to the relevance of these materials would be to show their advantage as active layers in organic solar cells. The proposed project aims to advance our knowledge in this domain.

More information on our group is available at https://icn2.cat/en/thermal-properties-of-nanoscale-materials.

DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH PROJECT / TOPIC

Research area: Physics (PHYS)

Project topic: Enhancing efficiency and thermal stability of solar cells through ultrastable PVD organic glasses

This project aims at investigating the use of multicomponent vapor-deposited ultrastable glasses as active layers in organic photovoltaic devices. Vapor-deposition offers a unique route to prepare thin films organic glasses with properties that cannot be attained by liquid-processing techniques, such as higher packing density and superior thermal and chemical stability [1-3]. Amorphous layers show larger uniformity (absence of grain boundaries, etc....) and easiness of tuning and mixing several components.  In addition, PVD offers high flexibility to obtain out-of-equilibrium phase-segregated microstructures with nm-size n- and p-type domains to achieve efficient pathways for charge migration. Vertical compositional gradients can also be tested as a way to enhance charge transfer to the electrodes. Multicomponent growth (co-deposition) of organic molecules by PVD is a process much less explored compared to single component organic thin films. Therefore, we will first focus on the optimization of co-deposition parameters of non-fullerene small molecules to achieve segregation of the donor and acceptor in small domains at the nm scale. Characterization of the glass transition of the blend, their microstructure, interfaces and HOMO-LUMO energy levels will be carried out by nanocalorimetry, AFM, UPS. Infrared spectroscopy will be used to characterize molecular orientation. In a second step OPV's devices will be in-situ fabricated within the PVD chamber. The external efficiency will be evaluated to understand the role of the deposition temperature and the mesoscale structure on device performance. The project will be carried out in collaboration with the group of Mariano Campoy from ICMAB.

CONTACT

Candidates may contact both javier.rodriguez@uab.cat and cristian.rodriguez@uab.cat if interested in this opportunity.

Please send the following documents / information:

  • CV (max. 4 pages)
  • Letter of motivation
  • Two referees

Please note that this is not a job offer. The process involves developing a joint application between candidate and host institution. Note also the following basic eligibility requirements established for these fellowships by the European Commission:

  • Candidates must be in possession of their PhD at call deadline
  • Candidates should have no more than 8 years' research experience after their PhD
  • Candidates must comply with the mobility rule, i.e. they must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Spain for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the call deadline.

For full details on eligibility, please see Annex 2 of Horizon Europe Work Programme 2021-2022 when published. Temporary resource: Annex 2 draft.