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Project: ESR-15: PhD at Merck Chemicals Ltd, United Kingdom
Topic: Design, characterization and manipulation of electronic spin interactions for efficient and stable organic solar cells
Researcher (ESR): Mr. Pierluigi Mondelli
Supervisors: Dr. Graham Morse, Dr Priti Tiwana
C-supervisor: Prof. dr. Carsten Deibel

Design, characterization and manipulation of electronic spin interactions for efficient and stable organic solar cells

The researcher will advance OSC performance and improved OSC stability by the manipulation of electronic spin interactions in organic solar cells. The performance and stability of these polymers will be evaluated in bulk heterojunction solar cells (normal & inverted architectures). Expertise in device characterization by UV/Vis, EQE, photo-CELIV, TPV, AFM, profilometry and JV analysis will be developed throughout the project.

The researcher will be affiliated and registered with the Technical University Chemnitz and co-supervised by Prof. Carsten Deibel but will be placed in the industrial laboratory at Merck Chemicals in Southampton, UK and supervised by Dr. Graham Morse and Dr. Priti Tiwana. The researcher will spend 28 months on the preparation, optimization and characterization of OSC devices at Merck Chemical. As part of the evaluation device stability will be tested using defined ageing protocols. In addition to working at Merck Chemicals the project will include secondments at Technical University Chemnitz (5 month) to study charge extraction losses and Universität Würzburg (3 month) to evaluate spin-dependent recombination in OSCs.

The researcher will:
- Develop an understanding of spin processes in OSCs
- Fabricate, characterize and optimize OSCs
- Improved performance and stability by manipulating electron spin interactions
- Evaluation of stability of OSCs under ageing protocols
- Develop an understanding of charge carrier dynamics using photo-CELIV and TPV

The researcher will receive scientific training in:
• The laboratory scale printing equipment: doctor blades, spin-coaters, mini slot-die
• Surface characterization: AFM, profilometry, SEM
• Optoelectronic characterization: UV-Vis, EQE, photo-CELIV, TPV, solar simulators and equipment
• Fabrication and measurement of bulk heterojunction solar cells

He will also receive complementary training in: career development, public outreach, communication, entrepreneurial skills, organisation, networking, scientific writing, and meeting skills.

Name of the host Institution
Merck Chemicals Ltd.

Name host supervisors
Dr. Graham Morse, Dr. Priti Tiwana

Secondments location
• Technical University Chemnitz (5 month) to study charge extraction losses
• Universität Würzburg (3 month) to evaluate spin-dependent recombination

Name and e-mail address of contact person
Dr. Graham Morse (Partner Leader; R&D Manager)
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Short description of host and co-host institution

Merck Chemicals Ltd. UK R&D site located in Southampton is a pioneering facility for material development for display, electronic, and photovoltaic applications. Its state-of-art laboratories have expertise covering the full spectrum of material development from design & synthesis to application testing. The facility has local professional HR personnel who support training activities of personnel and the R&D activities are fully supported by legal, patent, and chemical production departments located at its parent company, Merck KGaA, in Darmstadt, Germany.

Co-host institution
Chemnitz University of Technology in Saxony, Germany, has over 10000 students, around 750 international students from 100 universities all over the world, and about 160 Professors. It was founded in 1836 as Royal Mercantile College ("Königliche Gewerbeschule") and became a technical university in 1986.

Full Address and website address of host
Merck Chemicals Ltd. - Chilworth Technical Centre, University Parkway, Southampton SO16 7QD, UK http://www.merckchem.co.uk

Main evaluation criteria
• Candidate skill set;
• Prior experience and publication record;
• Motivation for the SEPOMO project and the science & training proposed;
• Willingness to travel, exchange across preconceived scientific barriers and participate in complementary training activities

Pierluigi Mondelli

ESR15 MondelliMr. Pierluigi Mondelli is an Early Stage Researcher in the field of Organic PhotoVoltaics (OPV) working at Merck Chemicals Ltd. in the PV-Physics Fundamentals Department in the Chilworth Technical Center of Southampton, and a PhD candidate in the Optics and Photonics of Condensed Matter Physics Department in the University of Chemnitz. He started his research project within the ITN SEPOMO (Spins for Efficient Photovoltaic Devices based on Organic Molecules) network and his recent activity in Solution-Processed Organic Photovoltaics is focusing on the electronic and optoelectronic characterization of a new generation of Non-Fullerene Acceptors, looking into the dynamics and the role of the charge-transfer state with respect to the energy losses which are responsible for a lower Power Conversion Efficiency of OPV devices compared to inorganic solar cells. His field of expertise is ranging from mechanical engineering to nanotechnology and material science, being trained at the University of Rome “La Sapienza” and further working at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane (Australia) towards the integration of graphene into the silicon-based industry. He also worked as a research fellow for the Physics Department of the University of Rome “La Sapienza” on the magnetic properties of organo-metallic molecules grown on intercalated graphene systems. The main results of his research activities are already contained in several publications in peer-reviewed journals and posters presented in international conferences.