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B.S. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (1997)
Ph.D. Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (2001)


Nanoscale Optoelectronic Materials and Devices for Energy Conversion

Nanostructure of materials and interfaces is a key issue in achieving improved efficiencies for organic photovoltaic devices (OPV) and organic light emitting diodes (OLED). Through the development of molecular devices and single molecule/nanoparticle particle spectroscopic techniques for the study of organic optoelectronic materials we can address these issues. The research projects involve studying the spectroscopy of interesting optoelectronic materials such as conjugated polymers, nanoparticles and their hybrids at the single molecule/particle level, and using these single molecules/nanoparticles as probes to locally study interfaces and processes in fully assembled functioning devices at the nanoscale. This multidisciplinary research program crosses the borders between materials science, engineering, physical chemistry, organic chemistry, and analytical chemistry and creates a bridge between fundamental research and technologically important applications.

Nanobiology: imaging and biophysical studies

The extreme sensitivity of single molecule laser scanning confocal microscopy allows us to detect the presence of a single molecule or nanoparticle. Combined with the excellent spatial resolution of this research tool we are developing the capability of tracking biological processes at the molecular level. We will quantitatively study biophysical processes at the single molecule level to unravel and understand the mechanism and kinetics of biologically important processes such as DNA and protein folding dynamics, and biochemical reactions involving enzymes. Our work will also involve developing novel imaging and spectroscopic techniques for biological systems. This will include the tracking of individual nanoparticles to study processes inside living cells. This multidisciplinary research program will have a significant impact on the emerging fields of nanobiology and nanomedicine.

Imaging and Spectroscopy of Biological Systems

The extreme sensitivity of single molecule laser scanning confocal microscopy allows us to detect the presence of a single molecule or nanoparticle.

Current Funding

  • NSF NER: Nanoscale Optical and Electronic Processes in Active Nanostructures and Devices for Solar Energy Conversion
    PI: Gesquiere,  6/2006 – 12/2007

Past Funding

  • UCF Office of Research: Nanoscale processes in energy conversion materials and devices
    PI: Gesquiere,  5/2006 – 4/2007

Selected Publications

  1. Gesquiere, A. J.; Park, S. J.; Barbara, P. F. Hole-induced quenching of triplet and singlet excitons in conjugated polymers. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2005, 127, 9556.
  2. Lee, Y. J.; Park, S.-J.; Gesquiere, A. J.; Barbara, P. F. Probing a molecular interface in a functioning organic diode. Applied Physics Letters 2005, 87, 051906.
  3. Gesquiere, A. J.; Uwada, T.; Asahi, T.; Masuhara, H.; Barbara, P. F. Single molecule spectroscopy of organic dye nanoparticles. Nano Letters 2005, 5, 1321. (Highlighted in the Materials Research Society Bulletin, August 2005 issue (volume 30) on pages 575-576.)
  4. Gesquiere, A. J.; Lee, Y. J.; Yu, J.; Barbara, P. F. Single molecule modulation spectroscopy of conjugated polymers. Journal of Physical Chemistry B 2005, 109, 12366.
  5. Park, S. J.; Gesquiere, A. J.; Yu, J.; Barbara, P. F. Charge injection and photooxidation of single conjugated polymer molecules. Journal of the American Chemical Society 2004, 126, 4116.
  6. Gesquiere, A. J.; Park, S. J.; Barbara, P. F. F-V/SMS: A new technique for studying the structure and dynamics of single molecules and nanoparticles. Journal of Physical Chemistry B 2004, 108, 10301.

Graduate Students

Students will be actively involved in all aspects of the research projects, focused on measurements on nanomaterials and the devices that these materials will be part of. The option of participating in the design and synthesis of materials in combination with performing measurements on these materials is an available opportunity as well. The laboratory work will involve:

  1. instrument development and learning to handle lasers, optics, microscopes
  2. materials characterization, including transmission electron microscopy and atomic force microscopy
  3. development of novel opto-electronic materials
  4. fabrication of devices such as light emitting diodes and solar cells
  5. studying the photophysics of materials and devices at the single molecule/nanoparticle level
  6. preparation of biological samples
  7. study of biological processes at the molecular level

Within this multidisciplinary research approach students will perceive the problems and solutions from multiple perspectives, and will be stimulated to think analytically and creatively to formulate and solve challenges. The research experience and knowledge that the students will gain in the prominent and active fields of renewable energy resources and nanobiology will allow them to pursue a fulfilling career in either industry or academia. UCF’s award-winning technology incubator and aggressive entrepreneurship programs will also give students the opportunity to commercialize promising research.