I want to thank the Zernike Insitute for publishing a short spotlight about me and my research as the 24th entry in this year’s Advent Calendar:
In the Zernike Institute Advent Calendar, we are presenting 24 short spotlights in December. In these specials, we highlight PhD students, postdocs, support staff, and technicians of our research groups and team - providing a glimpse in their typical day at work. In Episode 24 meet Sebastian Stäter, PhD student in the Optical Spectroscopy of Functional Nanosystems group of Prof. Richard Hildner.
“Plastic electronics” have the potential to revolutionize photovoltaics, illumination, and microelectronics, but their performance relies on the nanoscale structure of the underlying materials, e.g. on the semicrystalline order of a conjugated polymer film. As a PhD student in the group of Prof. Richard Hildner, I study this relationship between structure and function by employing optical spectroscopy.
In our lab, we build and employ versatile optical setups that operate with diffraction-limited spatial resolution, which allows me to examine the homogeneity of a thin film and compare specific spots within such films based on their absorption and fluorescence spectrum, lifetime, polarization, and more. Furthermore, our experiments work with single-molecule sensitivity, i.e., we measure only one molecules at a time. This allows me to study changes of spectra from individual molecules to solutions and thin films, helping me understand the effect of molecular interactions and aggregation.
Figure: A green laser beam is passing various optical elements in our home-built fluorescence experiment.
I believe these experimental techniques are an important contribution to optoelectronic research. I’m excited to be part of the Zernike Institute’s scientific community, where researchers from all over the world come together to exchange ideas and work on cutting-edge projects. If you need help with advanced optical measurements, our lab can get it done!