Our laboratory in the Bio21 Institute was established by Prof. Andrew B. Holmes in 2005. The laboratory is designed for chemical synthesis and houses a variety of materials characterisation instruments as well as equipment for device fabrication.

Materials Design and Synthesis

In addition to a custom designed laboratory; the lab also houses specialized equipment for synthesis including a Radleys carousel is used for reaction optimizations; a Biotage microwave reactor for high pressure microwave synthesis; continuous flow synthesis equipment (Vapourtec R2/R4 and Easy-Scholar) for flow chemistry; and a glove-box (Vigor) for air or moisture sensitive compounds. Furthermore, DFT calculations used to estimate molecular geometry and energy levels is completed on the Edward High Performance Computing facility with the generous help of Dr. Lars Goerigk.

Materials Characterizaiton

Being situated in the Bio21 institute, the laboratory has access to many platform technologies the institute has to offer such as the NMR facility, the MSPF and the Electron Microscopy suite. In addition the laboratory also houses some specialized equipment for characterization such as a Karl Fischer Titrator (Mettler Toledo) for determining water content; High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (Gilson) and Gel Permeation Chromatography (Viscotek) instruments to analyze purity; Differential Scanning Calorimeter (Perkin-Elmer Sapphire) for studying phase transitions; electrochemical equipment able to conduct cyclic voltammetry and impedance spectroscopy (Solartron) to characterize electrochemical behaviour of materials; and UV-vis and Fluorescence spectrometers (Varian Eclipse) to study photophysical properties. Further photophysical characterisation is complimented with access to the Ultrafast and Microspectroscopy Laboratories of Prof. Ken Ghiggino and Assoc. Prfo. Trevor Smith.

Device Fabrication

Fabrication of organic solar cell and transistor devices using novel materials is completed in house with specialised equipment. Substrate is prepared with UV-ozone cleaner (Novascan) and Ultrasonic bath (Unisonics) and organic material is deposited with a Spin coater (Laurell) or an Ultrasonic spray coater (Sono Tek; purchased from ARC LIEF grant). Metallic layers are deposited with metal evaporator. A Glovebox (Vigor) is available to complete the process in an inert atmosphere. Equipment for fabricating dye sensitized solar cells (Ultrasonic Soldering System; diamond drill) is also available. Performance of any fabricated solar cell can also be tested in house with a Solar simulator (1000W) as well as external quantum efficiency measurements (NewSpec).