University of Cambridge
Structure and Dynamics - Functionalising materials by smart design and structural rationalisation
My research comprises establishing structure / property relationships in materials of interest to the optics and optoelectronics community, the aim being to use the knowledge derived from these relationships to 'structurally engineer' new materials for their desired application.
I am primarily interested in materials which have potential use for:-
¦Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells
¦Organic Non-Linear Optics
¦Holographic Data Storage
¦Laser Heads and Optical Fibres
¦Dielectric materials for nano-electronics
A wide variety of experimental and computational techniques are employed to realise this goal:
Diffraction and spectroscopy: This reveals the structure and dynamics of our materials.
Techniques include X-ray and neutron diffraction (static and time-resolved), anomalous X-ray scattering, EXAFS, XANES, UV/vis spectroscopy, FTIR, inelastic neutron scattering, and THz spectroscopy.
Optoelectronics measurements: quantifying electro-optics and hyperpolarisabilities
In our experimental optics laboratory, we perform electro-optics measurements using the Teng-Men ellipsometry technique. We also undertake Hyper-Rayleigh Scattering experiments in collaboration with the University of Leuven, Belgium.
Sample fabrication and device testing for non-linear optics and dye-sensitized solar-cells
Non-linear optical devices are fabricated by embedding them in a polymer matrix using electrically-poling to ensure good molecular alignment. Dye-sensitized solar cells are fabricated using standard methods, and performance tested using a Solar Simulator.
Computational techniques are seminal in predicting or rationalising our experimental work
¦Data-Mining and Graph Theory - In combination, these have been used to develop code to predict new materials with optoelectronic properties.
¦Density Functional Theory;
¦Monte Carlo methods.