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Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme


  Lujo Matasović,


  Physics, Darwin College

  PhD thesis title: Spin Control in Radical Semiconductors (working title)

  Research interests:
  1. Molecular photophysics
  2. Organic electronics and spintronics
                                3. Computational materials science
                                4. Ultra-fast optical spectroscopy

The design of cheaper, highly efficient energy harvesting devices serves as a clear path forward in mitigating future energy crises. While inorganic semiconducting materials still dominate the electronics industry, their organic analogues have emerged as an alternative with many major advantages: they are easily processable, generally cheaper, lightweight, and have exceedingly tuneable properties.

Of special interest are radical-based organic semiconductors (ROSCs), whose applicability in semiconductor technologies has recently been demonstrated by making highly efficient light-emitting diodes. Operating entirely on a spin-doublet manifold, this class of materials avoids the non-emissive spin configurations (triplet spins), thus achieving internal quantum efficiency close to unity.

By combining computational methods with ultra-fast optical spectroscopy measurements, my research aims to investigate the structure-property relationships of novel ROSCs and elucidate the underlying photophysical mechanisms that govern their modes of operation, consequently guiding the development of next-generation optoelectronic and spintronic devices.

Who or what inspired you to pursue your research interests?
What inspires me the most in my research is to see how answering fundamental questions can drive innovation and solve real-world problems. Since my interests lie at the interface between chemistry and physics, I feel I have a unique opportunity to get the best of both worlds; I can admire the richness of organic chemistry, while also needing fundamental physics to explain the exotic processes that govern the behaviour of functional materials.

I was fortunate to have had wonderful mentors, Dr Rončević and Dr Kaleta, who taught me to aim high and encouraged me to ask difficult questions throughout my academic journey. Their effort undoubtedly shaped my aspirations to continue pursuing science.