Mr Yousaf Khan

Research project: Organic-Inorganic Nanocomposites for Photovoltaic and other Optoelectronic Applications


Organic photovoltaic (OPV) materials are advantageous as photovoltaic devices because of their inexpensiveness, light-weight, processability and flexibility. A major drawback of OPV devices has come from the photo-degradation of the organic materials by any oxygen and/or water in the device. In comparison, inorganic semiconductors have better electronic properties, high charge mobility and thermal stability while their nanoparticles exhibit enhanced electronic, photo-conducting and luminescent properties. This research involves the synthesis and study of semiconducting guest-host compounds by intercalation of the OPVs into layered inorganic materials. This is done to improve the  molecular organisation, energy conversion efficiency, to prevent access to oxygen and water that cause OPV degredation while combining the desired properties of OPVs and inorganic materials. 

Spectroscopic (e.g. solid state UV-Vis, ESR, PXRD, XPS, FTIR, RAMAN and ICP-AES), Current-Voltage and Capacitance-Voltage measurements are used to determine the composition and efficiency of the nanocomposite materials for photovoltaic and optoelectronic applications.

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: Organic-Inorganic Nanocomposites for Photovoltaic and other Optoelectronic Applications
  • Research supervisor: Professor Peter Foot


I obtained my BSc in Chemistry from Kingston University in 2013. Following this I studied for my MSc in Chemical Research at UCL with a focus in physical and computational chemistry. While at UCL I undertook my masters project in the Computational Chemistry research group where I looked to quantify the properties of a chemical bond using QTAIM analysis. I started my current PhD position in the Materials Research Group at Kingston University in 2015. During this time I held the position of university coordinator for the Royal Society of Chemistry's (RSC) outreach programme, Spectroscopy in a Suitcase (SIAS).

Areas of research interest

  • Organic semiconductors, organic electronics and optoelectronic materials
  • Physical and inorganic materials chemistry
  • Post lithium ion battery materials and systems
  • Photocatalytic water-splitting
  • Computational Chemistry
  • Reaction kinetics and oscillating reaction applications


  • MSc in Chemical Research, UCL
  • BSc in Chemistry, Kingston University

Funding or awards received

  • 2016: 3-minute thesis (3MT) faculty first prize winner