We use optical spectroscopy to study a wide range of ultrafast phenomena in organic materials at nanoscopic lengths and femtosecond (0.000000000000001 s) time scale, with the main focus on exciton and charge dynamics in energy-related and bio-inspired materials.
The research group Optical Condensed Matter Physics is part of the Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, a research institute within the Faculty of Science and Engineering of the University of Groningen.
Prof. Dr Maxim Pchenitchnikov was awarded the Teacher of the Year 2022 award in the NanoScience Top-master programme.
Nong Hoang successfully defended his PhD thesis, entitled "Light-to-Energy Conversion in Organic Solar Cells and Molecular Motors".
Congratulations Nong !!!
The energy transport in natural light-harvesting complexes can be realized in lab conditions via self-assembled supramolecular structures. One such structure arises from the amphiphilic C8S3 dye molecules, which self-assembles in an aqueous medium to a double walled cylindrical nanotube (DWNT), reminiscent of natural light-harvesting complexes found in green sulfur bacteria. In this work, we utilized a powerful platform of optical spectroscopy, cryo-TEM, and molecular modelling to image, and study only the inner NT of C8S3 DWNT system by selectively dissolving (flash-diluting) the outer NT in a microfluidic setting. The research revealed that the size as well as the molecular structure of the inner NT remains unchanged after the flash-dilution process. These results opens up exciting possibilities to functionalize the inner NT (e.g. with quantum dots) before outer NT reformation, thereby facilitating research towards intra-architecture of other self-assembled nanostructures. This work was published in Scientific Reports 12, 5552 (2022) .
Sundar gave an oral presentation on "Cryo-TEM imaging of out-of-equilibrium artificial light-harvesting complexes" at the 2022 Zernike Institute conference, held every two years on the beautiful island of Vlieland.