UG and PG Research Projects 2009/10 – Dr R.J. Curry


1) Spectroscopy of Rare-Earth Complexes


Rare-earth metal ions display unique spectroscopic properties due to their electronic configuration. One result of this is their spectrally narrow emission that is utilised in a wide number of display technologies including CRTs, LCDs, and OLEDs. In this project you will characterise a number these complexes obtaining spectroscopic information on their absorption, excitation, emission and radiative lifetime properties in a variety of hosts. Through the use of Judd-Ofelt theory, coupled with the Füchtbauer-Ladenburg equation, modelling of the optical properties will be carried out and the results compared to those obtained experimentally. This will allow the potential of the complexes for use as the active component in lasers to be assessed.

This project will require both experimental and modelling skills.



2) Modelling of Hybrid Inorganic-Organic Solar Cells


The use of inorganic quantum dot systems incorporated into organic photovoltaic devices allows the extension of light harvesting into the near-infrared. In this project a model will be developed to enable the optimum geometry for such hybrid devices to be predicted and their electronic properties.

This project will require experimental and analytical skills.


3) Donor-Acceptor Molecular Energy Transfer


The use of systems in which one excited (donor) molecule can pass its energy onto another different (acceptor) molecule is of great importance in the development of organic and polymer devices. Such processes are essential in the development of low-cost and efficient display and solar cell technologies and in the future may allow organic and polymer lasers to be developed. In this project you will study the energy transfer between a number of organic molecules as a function of spectral overlap and inter-molecular distance. The results obtained will be compared to existing theories of energy transfer (e.g. Förster transfer) and characteristic parameters quantified. These results will allow the development of new organic complexes and systems with improved energy transfer efficiency.

This project will require experimental and modelling skills.


4) Development of ActiveX – Labview User Interface for Instrument Control (UG)


This project will develop a user interface to precisely control the motion in 2D via the use of two coupled 1D stages. The high spatial resolution of the stages allows precise positioning of the target sample and repeatable motion paths to be carried out. If successful this project will allow advanced processing of materials using focused laser sources and small single crystal structures to be characterised in isolation.

This project will require programming skills.


5) Conductivity of Fullerite Single Crystals (PG)


Fullerite (C60) single crystals can be readily grown using a fast liquid-liquid interfacial method with high yield. The electronic properties of the crystals are reported to be dependent on the crystal phase of the material and can be modified through control of the temperature. This project will carry out a series of measurements on fullerite rods as a function of temperature and other parameters with the aim of obtaining further understanding as to how room temperature conductance can be achieved.

This project will require experimental and analytical skills.