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ICMAB Barcelona       CSIC Barcelona

Project: ESR-12: PhD at the Institute of Materials Science Barcelona, Spain
Topic: Nanoscale morphology and microstructure of organic thin films
Researcher (ESR) Mr. Francesco Silvestri
Supervisor: Dr. Esther Barrena

Nanoscale morphology and microstructure of organic thin films

This project will address the role of the microstructure on the charge separation dynamics and degradation of OSCs. The researcher will carry out a structural and spectroscopic investigation on novel tailor-made donor materials for enhancing the photovoltaic performance. The researcher will receive specific training in structural and morphological methods (using local-probe and synchrotron-based techniques) at the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC, Spain) and in time-resolved spectroscopies at Technische Universität Chemnitz (TUC, Germany). The central part of the work will take place at the ICMAB-CSIC in Barcelona, a research organization located on the Campus of the Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona that belongs to the centers of Excellence “Severo Ochoa” in Spain. There are planned secondments of 4 months at TUC (Chemnitz, Germany), 3 months at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (RUG, Holland) and 2 months at Fundacio EURECAT (Barcelona).

A complete training program will include participation in 4 specialized network schools on organic Solar Cells and in 5 training workshops on complementary and transferable Skills.

 ESR12 1

Dr. Esther Barrena

Francesco Silvestri

ESR12 SilvestriFrancesco was born in Rome, Italy, where he obtained both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Materials Science at Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata. After that, in 2015, he joined the group of Prof. Franco Cacialli at University College London, UK, as an Early Stage Researcher (ESR) in the European Innovative Training Network (ITN) named OSNIRO (Organic Semiconductors for NIR Optoelectronics). His 18-months position was dedicated to the selection of new organic NIR sensitive absorbers and the optimization of organic photodiodes. Later on, in September 2017, he started his PhD in the group of Physical Chemistry of Surfaces and Interfaces at the Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB), headed by Dr. Esther Barrena and Prof. Carmen Ocal. His current position at ICMAB is an ESR position in the ITN SEPOMO (Spins in Efficient Photovoltaic devices based on Organic MOlecules).

The general basis of the work in SEPOMO is to achieve a better understanding of the effects of spin-dependent processes in organic solar cells and subsequently find ways to deliberately tune the spin-dependent mechanisms involved in light harvesting.

In particular, the specific focus of his research is tackling the connection between structural/morphological properties, optical properties and performance of organic photovoltaic devices; the morphological picture of the active materials will be complemented using different techniques such as x-ray diffraction and scanning probe microscopy. These investigations will provide detailed information about the structural properties in regards to morphology, crystalline order, orientation, length scale of separation of domains. The combination of these techniques is fundamental to establish structure-property-performance relationships that guide the synthesis and optimization of the materials and serve as input for the simulation of the active layer morphology.