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.
Benedito Raul, performing some preliminary experiments in the recently built visible/infrared pump-probe setup.
Single-material organic solar cells have recently come to the research spotlight due to their simplicity, morphological robustness and high yield of exciton dissociation, which potentially enables high and stable power conversion efficiencies. Using α-sexithiophene as a model system, we have found that the single-event probability of the exciton dissociation at the boundaries of polycrystalline domains with different molecular orientation is extremely low (~0.5%) while the high efficiency of charge generation is gained via hundred-fold crossings of the domain boundaries due to long exciton diffusion length (~45 nm). In this capacity, the findings have direct implications on our understanding of the charge separation mechanism in neat films of organic semiconductors.
This work was published in Phys.Chem.Chem.Phys 23 20848-53 (2021)
An open access link to the pdf's of this publication can be found here :
Dr Bjorn Kriete was runner up (2nd price) on the Van Swinderen Award, for the best Cum Laude PhD thesis 2020, awarded by the Royal Physics Society of the Netherlands. He did win the "best dutch summary" award.