The Ultrafast Dynamics (UFD) group is part of the Physical Science and Engineering Division and is affiliated to the KAUST Solar Center (KSC). The group focuses on understanding fundamental photophysical phenomena in soft matter (polymers/small molecules), hybrid organic-inorganic systems, metal halide perovskites, and inorganic materials to improve solar-energy conversion efficiencies in photovoltaic devices, photocatalytic systems, and photochemical processes. Currently, the main research themes of the group are: i.) efficiency-limiting photophysical processes in organic donor-acceptor systems covering small molecule and polymer bulk heterojunction thin films for photovoltaic applications, specifically novel non-fullerene acceptor materials, ii.) the photophysics, specifically the effect of intrinsic and extrinsic defects on carrier recombination (lifetime), of metal halide perovskites, and iii.) energy and electron transfer processes in hybrid systems organic-inorganic systems for photocatalytic applications, specifically carbon dioxide reduction. To accomplish this, the Ultrafast Dynamics group uses various steady-state and time-resolved all-optical and electro-optical spectroscopic tools, advances existing measurement techniques, and develops new measurement schemes and data analysis methods. We combine all-optical and electro-optical measurement techniques to address the processes in functional devices and to bridge the gap between spectroscopy on thin films (without electrodes) and the photophysical processes occurring in (solar) devices under typical operating conditions.
Currently, the UFD group consists of two Research Scientists, six postdoctoral research fellows, three PhD students and several internship students. The group is very international with members from eleven different nations. The group collaborates intensively with all research groups at the KAUST Solar Center (KSC) and many international collaborations have been established over the past years.