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Optoelectronic Materials and Device Spectroscopy Group (StranksLab)


Principal Investigators

Professor Sam Stranks (sds65[a]

Head of Group

Sam Stranks (@samstranks) is Professor of Optoelectronics and Royal Society University Research Fellow in the Department of Chemical Engineering & Biotechnology and a Cavendish Joint Member in the Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge. He is also a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge. He graduated from the University of Adelaide in 2007 with a BA (German and Applied Mathematics), BSc Hons (Physics and Physical Chemistry) and a University Medal. He completed his PhD as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, receiving the 2012 Institute of Physics Roy Thesis Prize. From 2012-2014, he was a Junior Research Fellow at Oxford University and Worcester College, Oxford, before holding a Marie Curie Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2014-2016). Sam established his research group (@Strankslab) in Cambridge in 2017.

Sam's research focuses on the optical and electronic properties of emerging semiconductors including halide perovskites, carbon allotropes and organic semiconductors for low-cost electronics applications such as photovoltaics and lighting. He received the 2016 IUPAP Young Scientist in Semiconductor Physics Prize, the 2017 Early Career Prize from the European Physical Society, the 2018 Henry Moseley Award and Medal from the Institute of Physics the 2019 Marlow Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry, the 2021 IEEE Stuart Wenham Award, the 2021 Leverhulme Prize in Physics, the 2021 EES Lectureship and the 2022 Lem Prize. He is a TED Fellow and inn 2017 was listed by the MIT Technology Review as one of the 35 under 35 innovators in Europe. Sam is a co-founder of Swift Solar, a startup developing lightweight perovskite PV panels, and Sustain/Ed, a not-for-profit developing education for school-age children around climate change solutions. He is also an Associate Editor at the AAAS journal Science Advances, and sits on the Editorial Boards for the journals ACS Energy Letters and Advanced Energy Materials.

Full publications list on Google Scholar here.


Dr Miguel Anaya (ma811[a]

Miguel Anaya is a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow and Research Fellow at Darwin College, Cambridge. He previously held a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship and Marie Curie Fellowship in the group. More info here.

Group Support

Elena Avila - Lab Manager (ea527[a]


Charli Hendy- P.A. and Secretary to Sam Stranks (ch787[a]

Charli received her BA in Archaeology from the University of Cambridge in 2022. She is still hoping that her knowledge of hieroglyphs will come in handy one day. Started January 2023.


Postdoctoral Researchers and Research Fellows

Tiarnan Doherty (td404[a]

Tiarnan is an Oppenheimer Research Fellow and Schmidt Science Fellow. Started October 2017.


Kyle Frohna (kf373[a]

Kyle is an EPSRC Doctoral Prize Research Fellow, having completed his PhD in the group in early 2023. His work focuses on multimodal microscopy of optoelectronic devices and he makes memes about solar cells in his spare time. Started as a PhD student in October 2018.


Satyawan Nagane (sdn29[a]

Satya is a Newton International Fellow (The Royal Society). He obtained his PhD from National Chemical Laboratory (NCL), Pune, India in March 2017. His area of research is focused on design and synthesis of new hybrid perovskites for solar cells and LEDs. He is also working on development of different passivative layers to improve the performance of hybrid perovskite-based devices. Started January 2019.


Bart Roose (br340[a]


Bart obtained a PhD (AMI, Switzerland) for his work on degradation and
aging mechanisms in perovskite solar cells. He continued this work as a
Newton International Fellow at the University of Cambridge. At
Strankslab he is working on tandem solar cells. Started February 2020.


Linfeng Pan (lp577[a]

Linfeng is a Early Career Postdoc Mobility Fellow at StranksLab in the University of Cambridge. He obtained PhD degree from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland) for his research on solar fuels with oxides under supervision of Prof. Anders Hagfeldt and Prof. Michael Grätzel. His research is focused on the anisotropic electronic and photophysics of semiconductors with an emphasis on oxides materials. Started November 2020.


Dengyang Guo (dg606[a]

Dengyang received his PhD under supervision of Dr. Tom J. Savenije from TUDelft, where he studied charge carrier dynamics in metal halide perovskites. His interest is on analyzing fundamental properties of optoelectronic materials and quantifying the connection between the material property and device performance. Started January 2021.


Simon Kahmann (sk2133[a]

Simon joined the StranksLab in January 2021 with as a fellow through the German Academic Exchange Service and has since secured a Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship. He received a double-doctorate from the University of Groningen and the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg under the supervision of Maria A. Loi and Christoph J. Brabec for his studies on nanomaterials for optoelectronic applications. Simon coordinates the spectroscopy sub-group of the StranksLab and focuses his work on PL spectro-microsocpy of nanomaterials and chiral compounds. Started January 2021.


Linjie Dai (ld474[a]

Linjie received his PhD in Physics from Cambridge in 2021 for his work on ultrafast carrier dynamics in perovskites under the supervision of Prof. Neil C. Greenham. He joined StranksLab as a postdoc working on perovskite scintillators for medical imaging. By following ultrafast electronic and structural dynamics using transient absorption/photoluminescence/radioluminescence spectroscopy, he investigates fundamental loss mechanisms in semiconductors and discovers materials with desirable optoelectronic properties for high-efficiency solar cells, light-emitting diodes and X-ray detectors. Started June 2021.


 Terry Chien-Jen Yang (cjty2[a]

Terry received his PhD in Photovoltaic Engineering (2016) from UNSW in Sydney, Australia. He recently joined StranksLab as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellow working on lightweight and flexible all-perovskite multijunction solar cells. Previously, he worked on perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells at CSIRO Energy in Australia (2019-2021) and PV-Lab, EPFL in Switzerland (2017-2019). His research interests include: perovskites, crystalline silicon, tandem/multijunction solar cells, and the materials science of other photovoltaic technologies. Started June 2021.


Szymon Zelewski (sz430[a]

Szymon obtained his MSc and PhD in physics from Wroclaw University of Science and Technology, Poland, where he studied fundamental electronic and optical properties of 2D materials and other low-dimensional semiconductor structures. As a postdoctoral fellow he expands his research interests to investigate electronic disorder and nonradiative recombination effects in perovskite materials using photothermal experiments. Started September 2021.


Ganbaatar Tumen-Ulzii (gt433[a]

Ganbaa’s research has focused on the development of a novel X-ray detector for early-stage cancer detection. He also works on optoelectronic device fabrication including perovskite solar cells, photodetectors, light-emitting diodes and lasers. He received his BSc in Chemical Engineering from National University of Mongolia and MEng in Nanoscience and Nanoengineering from New Mongol Institute of Technology. He received his PhD in chemical engineering from Kyushu University in Japan. Started November 2021.


Milos Dubajic (md942[a]

Milos obtained his BSc and MSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Belgrade, Serbia. His master’s studies focused on designing novel, lossless metamaterial structures. During his PhD at UNSW, Australia, he focused on applying light, X-ray and neutron spectroscopic techniques for the characterization of electron and phonon dynamics of novel photovoltaic materials. He joined StranksLab as a postdoc to explore how strain manipulation in metal halide perovskites could lead to improvements in their optoelectronic performance. Started February 2022.


Yang Lu (yl877[a]

Yang obtained his PhD in Materials in University of Oxford for synthesis and characterisations of 2D layered semiconductors and heterostructures under the advisement of Prof. Jamie Warner. He joined the group as a postdoc working on fabrication of 2D/3D perovskite superlattice for LEDs under joint supervision of Prof. Richard Friend and Prof. Neil Greenham. Started Feb 2022.


Youngkwang Jung (yj359[a]

Youngkwang obtained his PhD in Materials Science & Engineering under supervision of Prof. Aron Walsh at Yonsei University, Korea. In September 2022, he joined the group as a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow working on defect-strain relationships in halide perovskites. His research involves materials simulations on the basis of first-principles density functional theory (DFT) using high-performance computing. Beyond bulk properties – electronic, vibrational, optical, and transport – his interests include point and extended defects including surfaces and interfaces. Started September 2022.


Weidong Xu (wx257[a]

Weidong Xu is a postdoctoral researcher who joined StranksLab in November 2022. Before that, he received his Ph.D. in optical spectroscopic studies on charge carrier dynamics in perovskite solar cells at Imperial College London under the supervision of Prof. James Durrant, CBE, FRS. His current research focuses on using various spectroscopies, including operando PL, microscopic PL, TRPL, TA, and EL to understand the correlation between the materials processing and device performance in perovskite applications. Started November 2022.


Jian Mao (jm2569[a]

Jian Mao is a Marie Curie Fellow in StranksLab. His project is mainly focusing on the fabrication of highly efficient copper halide LEDs. Jian obtained his Ph.D. degree from the University of Hong Kong where he fabricated nanostructured perovskite LEDs and all-perovskite white LEDs. Before joining StranksLab, Jian was a postdoctoral fellow in ‪Stéphane Kéna-Cohen’s group at Polytechnique Montréal (Canada). Started November 2022.


Tianjun Liu (tl586[a]

Tianjun is a postdoctoral researcher who joined StranksLab in November 2022. He is founded by EPSRC-funded International Centre-to-Centre programme with the Sustainable Energy Materials group at AMOLF, Amsterdam, with Richard Friend, Neil Greenham, and Akshay Rao. He is working on perovskite LEDs and chiral semiconductors. Started November 2022.


Shabnum Maqbool (sm2762[a]

Shabnum obtained her Ph.D. from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune (IISER-Pune), where she worked on exploring the “Linear and Nonlinear Optical Properties and Ultrafast Dynamics of Hybrid Lead Halide Perovskites”. She has received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. from the University of Kashmir. She is exploring the fundamental properties of 2D/3D perovskite superlattices and their respective device architectures, such as LEDs using ultrafast spectroscopic techniques. Shabnum is funded by the EPSRC-funded International Centre-to-Centre programme with the Sustainable Energy Materials group at AMOLF, Amsterdam, and works with Prof. Sir Richard Friend, Prof. Sam Stranks, Prof. Neil Greenham, and Prof.  Akshay Rao. Started in January 2023.


Eunyoung Choi (eunyoung.choi[a]

Eunyoung Choi studied for her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Martin Green and Dr. Jae Sung Yun at School of photovoltaic and renewable energy engineering, University of New South Wales (UNSW). During her PhD journey at UNSW, she focused on investigating nanoscale optoelectronic properties of halide perovskite by using advanced scanning probe microscopy. Now she is starting her new research work as a postdoctoral research associate at Diamond light source Ltd and University of Cambridge after Jan. 2023 to explore structural and chemical change in optoelectronic materials at the nanoscale by using hard X-ray nanoprobe technique. Started February 2023.


Chieh-Szu Huang (csh67[a]

Chieh-Szu received his PhD in Chemistry (2022) from ETH Zurich in Switzerland for his research on wearable luminescent solar concentrators under the supervision of Dr. Luciano Boesel (Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology) and Prof. Maksym Kovalenko (ETH Zurich). He joined StranksLab as a SNSF PostDoc Mobility fellow (2023) working on polymeric networks integrated photovoltaics. Started March 2023.


PhD Students

Stephanie Adeyemo (soa24[a]

Started October 2016

Supervised by: Hannah Joyce
Co-supervised by: Sam Stranks


Anna Abfalterer (aa2059[a]

Anna received her BSc degree in Chemistry from the University of Innsbruck, Austria, and her MSc degree in Chemistry from the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, USA. During her master studies, Anna focused on the synthesis and characterisation of novel, vacancy-ordered metal halide perovskites under the supervision of Prof. R. Lee Penn. Started October 2018.

Supervised by: Sam Stranks


Kangyu Ji (kj339[a]

Kangyu is focusing on film composition and architecture of perovskite solar cells. Beyond that he does some music composing and production including jazz, pop song and film scoring. He also loves anime and strategy games. Started October 2018.

Supervised by: Sam Stranks


Alice Dearle (aed45[a]


Alice is a NanoDTC PhD student and is jointly supervised by Prof. Stephan Hofmann in Electrical Engineering. Her research now focusses on the growth and characterisation of hybrid perovskite single crystals. She completely her undergraduate studies at the University of Edinburgh (MChem) and has previously worked on hBN growth and molecular iron nanomagnets. Started June 2019.

Supervised by: Stephan Hofmann
Co-supervised by: Sam Stranks


Kieran Orr (kwpo2[a]

Kieran is investigating the role that strain can play in hindering device performance for perovskite solar cells. Combining 3D strain and luminescence maps of perovskite films will hopefully lead to improvements in efficiency and our understanding of device function. He joined the group in October 2019 from the University of Oxford where he obtained his Master of Chemistry.

Supervised by: Sam Stranks


Affan Iqbal (ani24[a]


Affan is a PhD student studying the interplay amongst strain, light and charge dynamics. He did his master's thesis with Prof Marin Alexe studying photoferrroic effects in oxide perovskites. Started October 2019.

Supervised by: Sam Stranks
Co-supervised by: Miguel Anaya


Jordi Ferrer-Orri (jf631[a]


Jordi's is a NanoDTC student, working together with the Electron Microscopy Group in Materials Science. In his PhD, he aims at developing new in situ electron microscopy techniques to probe the local structure of perovskite structures using the electron beam. Started October 2019.

Supervised by: Sam Stranks
Co-supervised by: Cate Ducati


Alan Baldwin (ab2612[a]

Started October 2019

Supervised by: Sam Stranks


Simone Eizagirre-Barker (se410[a]


Simone is a NanoDTC PhD student jointly supervised by Prof. Mete Atatüre in the Quantum Optical Materials and Systems Group. She is interested the magneto-optical properties of novel quantum emitting systems and their applications as single-photon sources. Started October 2020.

Supervised by: Mete Atature
Co-supervised by: Sam Stranks


Hayden Salway (hajs2[a]


Hayden is a Sensor CDT PhD student supervised by Dr. Miguel Anaya working together with the Adsorption and Advanced Materials group in the department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. His research focusses on the synthesis and characterisation of Perovskite composites for X-ray detection. He previously completed his MRes at the University of Cambridge and his undergraduate studies (MChem) at Loughborough University. Started October 2020. 

Supervised by: Miguel Anaya
Co-supervised by: Sam Stranks, David Fairen-Jimenez


Yorrick Boeije (yb289[a]

Yorrick is interested in how nuclear dynamics affect exciton and charge transport at the femtosecond timescale in various optoelectronic materials. When combining this temporal resolution with nanometer spatial resolution, these interactions may be linked to local heterogeneous features, such as defects. This could elucidate the role of defects, as well as the intimate connection with nuclear dynamics involved in nonradiative decay, which should be minimized to enhance optoelectronic performance. Yorrick completed his BSc and MSc in Chemistry in Amsterdam. Started October 2021.

Supervised by: Sam Stranks
Co-supervised by: Akshay Rao


Cullen Chosey (cbc37[a]

Cullen grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, and studied chemical engineering at Stanford University. His research interests focus on characterizing and engineering emerging semiconductors to enable cheaper and more efficient solar cells. A 2021 Marshall Scholar, he has previously researched contact layers for tandem photovoltaics with Prof. Mike McGehee at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and applications of atomic layer deposition on perovskites with Prof. Stacey Bent at Stanford. Started October 2021.

Supervised by: Sam Stranks


Melissa Fitzsimmons (mrf47[a]

Started October 2021

Supervised by: Sam Stranks


Hayley Gilbert (hg479[a]

Hayley is a Sensor CDT student co-supervised by Dr Stuart Bartlett from Diamond Light Source. Her project will focus on mapping photoluminescence and corelating these with X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy (XAS) techniques to investigate defects and novel passivations. She completed her undergraduate degree (MSci Natural Sciences) at the University of Nottingham, where she specialised in Physics. Started October 2021

Supervised by: Sam Stranks
Co-supervised by: Stuart Bartlett


 Barney Lewis (bail2[a]

Barnaby graduated from the University of Warwick with an integrated master's degree in 2019. During his 3rd year, he completed a 14-week research project on the synthesis and structure of iron spin-crossover complexes in the Murray Group of Monash University, Australia. His final year MChem project with the Stavros Group, Warwick, focussed on the ultra-fast kinetics of molecular switches using transient absorption spectroscopy. After a 2-year break from research in industry, he will be using time-resolved spectroscopy to study emerging semiconductor materials including perovskites and perovskite-inspired materials. Started October 2021.

Supervised by: Sam Stranks


Weizhe Lin (wl356[a]

Weizhe Lin is a visiting PhD of Stranks Lab and is registered at Department of Engineering. He is inspired by the rapid development of machine learning tools and is interested in their applications in scientific research. He received his BA/MEng degree in 2021, and will initiate some collaborations in the field of machine intelligence with Stranks Lab during his PhD.

Started in October 2021.

Supervised by: Bill Byrne


Alessandro James Mirabelli (ajm345[a]

Proud Londoner Alessandro completed his BSc and MSc in Bologna under Prof. Fraboni. For his thesis he spent 6 months at KAUST in Prof. DeWolf's group where he worked on the fabrication of Perovskite/Silicon Bifacial solar cells. His research at the Cavendish Laboratory will focus on creating Perovskite LEDs. Started October 2021.

Supervised by: Sam Stranks
Co-supervised by: Miguel Anaya


Zher Ying Ooi (zyo22[a]

Zher is a PhD student interested in producing novel perovskite photonic structure to enable colour conversion and light enhancement. She joins the group after completing her MPhil in Micro and Nanotechnology Enterprise at MSM, University of Cambridge. Started October 2021.

Supervised by: Sam Stranks


Marion Isabelle May Short (mims3[a]

Marion is a NanoDTC PhD student jointly supervised by Professor Erwin Reisner in the Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry, working on developing photoelectrochemical semi-artificial leaf devices for solar fuel synthesis. Started October 2021.

Supervised by: Erwin Reisner
Co-supervised by: Sam Stranks


Tom Selby (tas72[a]

Tom is a NanoCDT student working with the Electron Microscopy Group to characterise the structural implications of passivation in perovskites. He previously studied at the University of Nottingham (MSci) where his research focused on encapsulating material within carbon nanotubes. He enjoys running and playing the guitar in his spare time. Started December 2021

Supervised by: Sam Stranks
Co-supervised by: Paul Midgley and Tiarnan Doherty


Qichun Gu (qg227[a]

Qichun completed his MRes in Imperial College London under supervision of Prof. James Durrant, focusing on photodarkening and photobrightening for perovskite solar cells. He is currently a PhD student in Strankslab, interested in understanding mechanism to achieve pure-phase 2D perovskite and generating polarization for perovskite light-emitting diodes. Started January 2022

Supervised by: Miguel Anaya


Taeheon Kang (tk611[a]

Taeheon graduated with a BSc in Chemistry at Chung-ang University in South Korea. He then moved to Samssung Display where he worked on inkjet-printed organic and quantum-dot LEDs. His PhD research focusses on novel materials and architectures of perovskite solar cell/LEDs. Started October 2022

Supervised by: Miguel Anaya
Co-supervised by: Sam Stranks


Yutong Han (yh502[a]

Yutong is a PhD student interested in developing low-bandgap perovskite solar cells. She completed her MSci degree under the supervision of Prof. Saif Haque working on Lead-free Tin based perovskite solar cells. Started October 2022

Supervised by: Miguel Anaya
Co-supervised by: Sam Stranks


Jonah Messinger (jfm62[a]

Jonah is a Winton Scholar and PhD student in Physics. His research interests include light-matter interaction, high-yield scintillator materials and gammavoltaic devices. Previously, Jonah was a Senior Energy Analyst at the Breakthrough Institute, visiting Scientist at ETH Zurich, and a Research Assistant at the National Renewable |Energy Laboratory and Beckman Institute. Jonah earned his Master's in Energy and Bachelor's in Physics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he was a Udall Scholar. Started October 2022

Supervised by: Richard Friend
Co-supervised by: Sam Stranks


Shenyu Nie (sn597[a]

Shenyu is a Photonics CDT PhD student focusing on multichannel optical communication enabled through novel low-dimensional materials processed from solution. She previously completed her MRes at the University of Cambridge and BEng in Electronic and Electrical Engineering at University College London. Started January 2023

Supervised by: Sam Stranks
Co-supervised by: Simon Kahmann


Current Visitors

Ayla Dekker

Ayla is a visiting Master's student from Utrecht University in The Netherlands. She graduated with a BSc in Chemistry and Physics from Utrecht University. Previous research focused on lanthanide luminescence and ion diffusion through nanocrystals. She will be visiting Strankslab for 5 months to study chiral 2D perovskites. Started February 2023.


Wouter van Gompel

Wouter Van Gompel is a postdoctoral researcher working in the Hybrid Materials Design (HyMaD) expertise group that is part of the Materials Chemistry (MATCHEM) group within the Institute for Materials Research (imo-imomec) of Hasselt University in Belgium. His focus is on the design, synthesis, and characterization of low-dimensional hybrid perovskites containing tailored organic cations. The goal of his research is to achieve synergy between the properties of the organic and inorganic layers of the hybrids, in order to obtain novel materials with improved optoelectronic properties. Started March 2023.


Rebecca Belisle

Rebecca Belisle is an Assistant Professor of Physics and the Knafel Assistant Professor of Natural Sciences at Wellesley College (USA). She received a PhD from Stanford University in 2018 for her work understanding the role of contacts and interfaces on the performance of perovskite solar cells. Her current research is focused on understanding and suppressing phase segregation in wide bandgap perovskites. Started March 2023.


Chiara Ongaro

Started February 2023.