Enhancing organic room-temperature phosphorescence through supramolecular approaches

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    Cardiff University
    United Kingdom
    Natural sciences



Dr Yi-Lin Wu is looking for a PhD student to work on the research project “Enhancing organic room-temperature phosphorescence through supramolecular approaches.” The project involves the design and synthesis of triplet-forming organic chromophores and the investigation of their photophysical properties induced by supramolecular interactions.

Driven by the ever-increasing demands for sustainable chemistry and the interests in solar energy conversion, the Wu group is particularly interested in visible light-absorbing materials that have long excited-state lifetimes. Their ability to store photo-energies over hundreds of microseconds will enable a variety of chemical and optoelectronic applications, such as pollutant degradation, photocatalytic reactions, chemical sensing, bio-imaging, and electronic display.

The photoinduced, long-lived species can be produced through the formation of charge-separated radical ions and/or triplet spin states. In either case, the excited molecules may relax radiatively to give phosphorescent emission, the radiative transition between states of different electronic spin multiplicities. This process occurs when the photo-excited molecules feature rapid spin-state interconversion and slow thermal deactivation, and is highly sensitive to the environment effects. Development of metal-free organic phosphors will expand the toolbox of phosphorescence materials that were traditionally dominated by inorganic chromophores containing heavy and scares elements. Since the photoexcited chromophores are surrounded by other molecules in the condensed phase, it is imperative to understand how the intermolecular interactions influence the excited-state structure and dynamics. We will take simultaneously the synthetic, spectroscopic, and computational approaches to precisely control the orientation and 3-D environment of the light-absorbed molecule. Through this study, we will determine structural and electronic factors that can enhance the phosphorescence efficiency. Such detailed understanding at the molecular level will facilitate the design of mechanically stable yet flexible electronic devices.

The project is of experimental nature and will involve multi-step organic synthesis, spectroscopic characterization, and theoretical/computational chemistry. Through hands-on working with researchers specialized in EPR, laser and X-ray spectroscopies, the student will also develop the necessary knowledge and skills for efficient collaboration and communication.

What is funded

This PhD post is open to self-funded Home, EU and International students.


Applications are invited from highly motivated candidates with or expecting to receive an upper second class degree (2.1 or better), a master’s degree, or their equivalent in an area relevant to the project, such as synthetic chemistry, photochemistry, and molecular materials science.

If English is not your first language that you must fulfil our English Language criteria before the start of your studies. Details of accepted English Language qualifications for admissions can be found here:


How to Apply

To apply, please complete the online application - https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/research/programmes/programme/chemistry and state the project title and supervisor name.

Please contact Dr Yi-Lin Wu (wuyl@cardiff.ac.uk) for informal enquiries. Interested applicants are encouraged to email their CV and a brief statement of purpose to Dr Wu.


The responsibility for the funding offers published on this website, including the funding description, lies entirely with the publishing institutions. The application is handled uniquely by the employer, who is also fully responsible for the recruitment and selection processes.