CBE Seminar: Organic Semiconductors for Solar Cells and Bioelectronics

ISEB 1310
Natalie Banerji, Ph.D.

Physical Chemistry
University of Bern

Non-UCI people, please use this registration link: https://forms.gle/e5CJmQGCTVtTmb7U6

Abstract: Organic semiconductors have versatile properties making them interesting for a variety of applications including photovoltaics and bioelectronics. We use ultrafast spectroscopic techniques, such as transient absorption (TA) and time-domain terahertz (TD-THz) spectroscopies, to investigate charge carriers in such organic semiconductors. While femtosecond TA measurements bring insights to the nature and evolution of photoexcited species, we use TD-THz spectroscopy to gain information about the charge transport properties at the nanoscale. Processes of interest include charge generation in organic photovoltaics (OPVs) and electrochemical doping in organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs). In this talk, I will first show results about free charge dynamics in highly efficient organic solar cell materials containing nonfullerene acceptors (NFAs) with low energetic offset for charge transfer. Then, I will describe ways to explore spectroscopy to study organic bioelectronics. In operando visible, Raman and TD-THz measurements on OECTs will be presented.

Bio: Natalie Banerji is currently a professor of physical chemistry at the University of Bern. Her research interests include the study of organic and hybrid materials using ultrafast spectroscopic techniques, in view of solar cell and bioelectronic applications. She studied chemistry at the University of Geneva and obtained her doctorate in physical chemistry in 2009, under the supervision of Eric Vauthey. She then moved to UC Santa Barbara to work on organic solar cells during a postdoctoral stay with Nobel Laureate Alan J. Heeger (2009-2011). In 2011, she was given the opportunity to start her independent research career in Switzerland at the Ecole Polytechnique Férérale de Lausanne (EPFL) with an Ambizione Fellowship by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). She obtained an SNSF-Professorship at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) in 2014, and was subsequently nominated tenured associate professor in 2015. She was chair of the Department of Chemistry in Fribourg from 2016-2017 and moved to Bern in 2017. In 2015, she obtained the Grammaticakis-Neumann Prize (Swiss Chemical Society), and in 2016, she was awarded an ERC Starting Grant. She is also part of the Swiss Research Council and associate editor of ACS Materials Letters.

Host: Associate Professor Alon Gorodetsky