ICMAB Open Positions

PhD Position: Triplet-state driven photon energy harvesting in bioplastics

Deadline: Sep 1, 2022

The candidate will work in the framework of the la-Caixa Project “Recyclable photon up and down conversion bioplastics for photo-protected light harvesting: a step towards circular optical bioplastics economy.”

13 June 2022

This project seeks to explore the potential of biopolymers-surfactant-chromophores solid-state co-assemblies as sustainable material to harvest photon energy exploiting triplet-excitons of chromophores. Triplet-excitons can be harvesting by converting in to photo-emissive singlet excitons via triplet-triplet annihilation upconversion (TTA-UC). Solid-state TTA-UC materials have potential to increase the efficiency of solar cells by upconverting transmitted sub-band gap photon to band gap responsive photons.

TTA-UC bioplastics are unique combination of TTA-UC chromophores fabricated into biopolymers that can upconvert the triplet-state upon low energy excitation with high efficiency in aerated conditions. The current project will focus on developing TTA-UC bioplastics for sustainable upconversion of near infrared (NIR) light in to visible light in the solid-state, followed by intergration with photovoltaic (PV) devices.

In particular, the candidate will be in charge of synthesizing new ionic organic chromophores as annihilator for optically active fabrication in bioplastics and photophysical characterization. Hence, the focus of the candidate’s research will be on the organic synthesis, photochemistry and photophysical characterization in solution and solid-state.

The Sustainable Molecualr Systems group, has a broad expertise on the design, synthesis and characterization of organic chromophores for triplet-state harvesting via triplet-triplet annihilation based photon upconversion (TTA-UC) with recent publications from the group are e.g. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2022, 144, 3706; J. Mater. Chem. C 2021,9, 11655; J. Phys. Chem. B 2021, 125, 6255; Chem. Soc. Rev., 2020,49, 6529; J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 10848; Nat. Commun., 2016, 7, 12689.

This is a multidisciplinary and transversal project and the candidate will be part of a team formed by several researchers.

Main tasks of the candidate

  1. Organic synthesis of organic chromophores as annihilators for TTA-UC and fabrication into bioplastics.
  2. PV device design for integration with bioplastics and performance analysis.


The fellow should have an internationally recognized Masters degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline (Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Organic Chemistry).

The ideal candidate should have a strong background in organic chemistry. Knowledge of photochemistry is a merit.

Details of the position

Contract: Full time.

Tentative Starting date: negotiable.

Further information (contact person): Prof. Kasper Moth-Poulsen This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

How to apply

Submit the following application documents to group administrator Eulàlia Pujades This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.:

  • Resume or CV including a list of possible publications
  • Motivation Letter
  • Statement of the applicant’s research experience
  • List of three references with contact details
  • Please mention position “PhD2 KMP group” in the email title

Closing date for application: The recruitment process will be closed on September 1 or when a suitable candidate is found.

About Sustainable Molecular Systems Group

The Sustainable Molecular Systems Group group at ICMAB is using modern synthesis tools to develop new materials for energy storage, energy upconversion, solar energy, sensors and molecular electronics. We also build demonstration devices to illustrate the function of our new materials. The group is interdisciplinary and focus in addition to traditional organic synthesis on development of advanced flow chemistry tools, lab automation, devices for thermal energy storage materials and photoconversion. The group is supported by the European Research Council (ERC), the Catalan Institute of Advanced Studies (ICREA), la-Caixa Foundation, the European Union and ICMAB through the Severo Ochoa excellence project.

We value a diverse and inclusive work environment where all team members have excellent opportunities for learning and contributing.  

For more information, please visit the Kasper Moth-Poulsen Research Group.


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.


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