MRes in Plastic Electronic Materials
Please note that we are not currently taking applications, check back in December to see what opportunities are available and for details on how to apply.
1-year full-time study
Course Director: Dr Piers Barnes (Physics)
The 12-month, 90-ECTS, Bologna-compliant, MRes in Plastic Electronic Materials aims to provide a thorough foundation in the science and application of plastic electronic materials. The course is a full-time one year Masters in Research, consisting of a multidisciplinary research project, taught courses in the physics, chemistry and materials science of plastic electronic materials, practical training workshops, transferable skills courses, and regular group discussion sessions.
MRes students are also encouraged to attend regular research seminars given by the wider CPE community that are organised throughout the year, as well as colloquia targeting specialised areas, such as perovskite photovoltaics or bioelectronics.
The taught course runs between October and December, with examinations in February. Advanced and practical courses take place January to February. The majority of the project work will take place after the exams, finishing in September.
Cohort Mentors and Buddy Scheme
The Plastic Electronics MRes (and CDT) students are part of the Mentoring and Buddying Schemes. Dr Firat Güder is the academic member of staff who mentors the students - he holds monthly coffee mornings for students to come for an informal chat with Firat and other students. The role of the mentor is to be a point of contact for the student throughout the course, to offer advice, and to help with any matters of a non-academic nature that may arise. The PE-CDT also runs a cross-cohort Buddy Scheme, which all students participate in.
MRes Course Outline
Core Lecture Courses
The course begins in Term 1 (October-December) with a fixed lecture programme of core courses, in adition to advanced practical courses that will continue through the year. All core lecture modules are compulsory. The material covered in these courses is examined in February.
There are four core lecture courses in Term 1, delivered by lecturers from all departments and :
- Introduction to plastic electronics and course overview
Prof Ji-Seon Kim (Physics)
Plastic electronic along with related materials will be introduced, highlighting applications and areas of particular interest to both in academia, industry, and society. An outline of the taught components of the course will be described along with how the modules relate to each other.
- Fundamentals of Organic and Inorganic Semiconductors and Optoelectronic Processes
Prof Aron Walsh (Materials): Fundamentals of Crystalline Semiconductors
Prof Ji-Seon Kim (Physics): Electronic structures and excitations in organic semiconductors
Prof Jenny Nelson (Physics): Molecular electronic processes
This module will refresh the basic properties of semiconducting materials, highlighting the key similarities and differences between electronic behaviour in organic and inorganic materials.
- Materials Synthesis and Processing
Prof Martin Heeney (Chemistry): Polymer chemistry of conjugated materials
Dr Christian Nielsen (QMUL): Design and application of conjugated materials
Prof John de Mello (Chemistry): Synthesis of quantum dots and nanoparticles
Prof Henry Snaith (Oxford University): Preparation of hybrid perovskite materials
Dr Sandrine Heutz (Materials): Physical deposition techniques
This module will focus on the preparation and deposition of electroactive materials including the organic, inorganic and hybrid components used in plastic electronic devices.
- Materials Characterisation
Dr Sandrine Heutz (Materials): Physical and chemical characterisation techniques
Dr Artem Bakulin (Chemistry): Introduction to the spectroscopy of electronic materials
Dr Martyn McLachlan (Materials): Imaging techniques and thermal analysis for solution processable materials
In conjunction with the Materials and Processing module, this part of the course will introduce materials characterisation techniques relevant to assessing the microstructure and surface/interface properties of relevant electroactive materials including microscopy, X-ray diffraction, rheology and thermal analysis (including degradation). The module will also introduce steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopic techniques suitable for interrogating structural properties, excited states, and charge carriers in electroactive materials.
- Device Physics and Applications
Dr Piers Barnes: Introduction to device physics concepts, photovoltaics and new devices
Dr Al Campbell: OLEDS, OFETS, displays and colour
This module will cover the basic principles of operation and design and molecular and hybrid light emitting devices, solar cells, photodiodes, thin film transistors, polymer lasers, gain media, lighting and displays. Emerging devices classes will also be introduced including spintronic and bioelectronics devices. The module will also provide an introduction to device fabrication and device engineering for maximum performance and lifetime.
Advanced & Practical Courses
A distinctive feature of the MRes are the advanced and practical courses, each one often running over several days. These tailored courses are organised in conjunction with, and frequently hosted by, industrial and univeristy CDT partners. The courses offered will be confirmed during the year, but are likely to include:
- High volume printing (Welsh Centre for Printing & Coating, Swansea University)
This two-day workshop will cover high throughput printing techniques, including inkjet, gravure, and contact printing, and including training in the methods used for the characterisation of inks and surfaces.
- Hybrid LED device fabrication (Queen Mary London)
Manufacture and optoelectronic testing of hybrid LED structures (organic/ZnO nanorod active regions).
- Transient non-contact probes (University of Oxford)
Transient ultrafast spectroscopic probes for photophysical energy transfer; THz conductivity for studies on ps-to-ns timescale; Confocal and scanning Raman spectroscopy.
- Vacuum deposition and upscaling (Univeristy of Oxford)
This course will give cover the main technologies for vacuum deposition of organic electronics. Starting from the various methods of how the required vacuum is generated and measured the principles of most common vacuum deposition processes are described with a particular focus on organic electronics.
- Polymer processing (Nanoforce)
This 2-day workshop introduces industrial polymer processing methods, including compounding, sheet/film extrusion, injection moulding, and fibre spinning, covering both low volume manufacturing to pilot plant activities.
- Oraganic thin film and optoelectronic device fabrication & characterisation (Imperial College, Physics)
This week long course includes lectures and practical training. The lectures cover the theory and practical issues of thin film characteristics and device fabrication, and opto-electronic measurements. The practical training will focus on how to measure the optical properties of thin film samples correctly using a variety of techniques.
- OPV device fabrication (Imperial College, Chemistry)
This three-day practical training will cover all steps in the fabrication and testing of lab-scale light-emitting diodes, photodiodes and OFETs in a clean room environment. The course includes substrate preparation, spin coating of organic layers, contact evaporation and encapsulation, followed by opto-electrical measurement.
- Molecular modelleing
This two day workshop introduces some of the computational packages available for the simulation of molecular materials, including the elements of quantum chemistry calculations using Gaussian and Turbomole, molecular dynamics packages such as GROMACS, and packages for the visualisation and rendering of molecular structures.
Transferable Skills Courses
Tailored courses and lectures are offered by the Graduate School and the Plastic Electronics CDT to enhance professional and transferrable skills in the following areas:
- Research Ethics
The MRes module on research ethics comprises three lectures: Fabrication and Falsification; Plagiarism; Publication and Authorship. The course is taken by Ethics specialist Marianne
- Plagiarism Awareness Course
The course is designed to provide you with guidance and information about proper citation and attribution in writing. After completing the course you should be able to explain what plagiarism is, be familiar with the concept of academic integrity, be able to explain how to avoid plagiarism and learn what the College’s policy concerning plagiarism is.
- Writing for Masters: Literature Review
This course will provide advice on how to prepare and structure a literature review as well as reading efficiently and effectively. On completion, you will be able to: describe what a literature review is, employ efficient and effective reading style of the literature, compare and contrast the usefulness of different sources of literature, construct a well-reasoned coherent structure when writing the literature review.
- Mastering Presentations: Presentation Skills
This course offers ideas on targeting content for an audience, slide design and delivery to meet the needs of your peers and academics including an opportunity to present in small groups. On completion of this course you will be able to: recognise the importance of knowing your audience, understand the importance of having a clear structure and content when presenting, employ various techniques to communicate your message clearly and respond to questions, design an engaging presentation, assess the quality of presentations and provide constructive feedback.
- Stress Management
- Journal Club:
Weekly Journal Club meetings commence in the autumn term. This course aims to develop presentation skills, whilst encouraging scientific debate, and providing the opportunity to broaden scientific knowledge. The cohort works together in a group to make a presentation about a seminal high impact paper, which is then followed by chaired discussion and debate.
The tought outreach course takes place in Term 1. MRes students receive both group and individual training on techniques and preparation to publicise and present scientific work to non-specialist audiences. These outreach activities are designed to instil important communication skills for students to draw upon throughout their careers. Outreach activities by students are strongly encouraged and supported; students are encouraged to participate in the Imperial Festival and other public engagement events. More information about the Outreach course can be found here.
All MRes studentships are aligned with a research project.
The minimum academic requirement is a 2:1 undergraduate degree in physics, chemistry, materials science, electrical engineering, chemical engineering or related disciplines. We also accept a wide variety of international qualifications. Further details of the MRes course, including entry requirements and English language requirements, can be found on the central College postgraduate prospectus pages.