PhD Position in Operando and In-situ Multimode Characterization of Organic Semiconductors at ICMAB

The Physical Chemistry of Surfaces and Interfaces (PCSI) group offers a PhD position on “Operando and In-situ Multimode Characterization of Organic Semiconductors for a Comprehensive Design of High-Performance Electronic Devices.”

About the research project
Organic semiconductors have emerged as a breathtaking prospect, promising a new era of electronic devices with unparalleled versatility and eco-friendliness. Their applications span a wide spectrum, encompassing organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) that bring life to vivid displays, organic photovoltaics (OPVs) that harness the sun's energy, and organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) that drive the future of flexible electronics. Yet, to truly unleash their full potential across these diverse fields, we must grasp the profound intricacies governing structural order and morphology in thin films and their impact on charge transport. In this PhD project, we aim at pushing the boundaries of knowledge by operando and in-situ characterization of organic semiconductors thin films. This research work combines advanced characterization methodologies techniques, including x-ray diffraction, Scanning Probe Force Microscopy, and electrical measurements, to study the dynamic changes in material properties occurring during growth or thermal annealing and to achieve a microscopic understanding. Furthermore, the work will address the use of multi-component thin films paving the way for applications in NIR photo-detection and photo-thermal conversion.

Qualifications and requirements
A strong academic background in materials science, physics, or a related field, a curious and analytical mindset, and the will to learn experimental research.

Our group, the Physical Chemistry of Surfaces and Interfaces (PCSI), has strong expertise in x-ray scattering techniques using synchrotron radiation as well as in advanced scanning probe microscopy. Taking advantage of the relevant role that the PCSI group plays in the SPM platform of the InCAEM project, the doctoral thesis will include the combination of state-of-the-art methodologies that provide an exceptional environment for cutting-edge research. We offer a team-oriented, motivating work atmosphere, which will allow the candidate to develop independence and soft and technical skills.

Application process
Interested candidates are invited to contact Esther Barrena ( and Carmen Ocal ( and submit a CV. The position is intended to start around October 2023, financed under the project PID2022-136802NB-I00.

The Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC) is a multidisciplinary research center focused on cutting-edge research in functional advanced materials in the fields of ENERGY, ELECTRONICS, NANOMEDICINE and application fields yet to imagine.
The ICMAB is integrated within the Barcelona Nanocluster in Bellaterra (BNC-b), a research network that includes the UAB, the CSIC (ICMAB, IMB-CNM and ICN2) and IRTA, part of the UAB Research Park of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (PRUAB) and the ALBA Synchrotron. The BNC-b aims to share advanced scientific equipment and promote and disseminate nanoscience and nanotechnology.
The ICMAB offers a complete range of scientific services, including a 10,000 class cleanroom (the Nanoquim Platform) that are open to interested parties, whether these are academic or from industry, and it participates in all kinds of educational and promotional activities. Many ICMAB researchers teach at the UAB Master's degree in Nanotechnology and Materials Science and also on the UAB degree on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology.

Further information
- PCSI group:
- Charge-Transfer Complexes in Organic Field-Effect Transistors: Superior Suitability for Surface Doping
A. Babuji et al. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2022, 14, 39, 44632–44641 DOI: 10.1021/acsami.2c09168
- Design Dependence of the Interface Structure and Crystalline Order of Organic Semiconductor/Dopant Heterojunctions: Pentacene/C60F48, F. Silvestri et al. J. Phys. Chem. C, 2021, 125, 9, 5363–5371. DOI:10.1021/acs.jpcc.0c11439R
- Impact of Nanomorphology on Surface Doping of Organic Semiconductors: The Pentacene−C60F48 Interface
F. Silvestri et al. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2020, 12, 22, 25444–25452 DOI: 10.1021/acsami.0c05583
- Double Beneficial Role of Fluorinated Fullerene Dopants on Organic Thin Film Transistors: Structural Stability and Improved Performance, A. Babuji et al. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 2020, 12, 25, 28416–28425 DOI: 10.1021/acsami.0c06418
- Decoding the vertical phase separation and its impact on C8-BTBT:PS transistor properties
Ana Pérez-Rodríguez et al. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces (2018) 10 (8), 7296–7303DOI: 10.1021/acsami.7b19279