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Optoelectronic Materials and Device Spectroscopy Group (StranksLab)


Head of Group

Professor Sam Stranks (sds65[a]

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, and an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institute of Physics.

Sam 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 has led multi-centre projects from funders such as ERC, EPSRC, Leverhulme Trust and Royal Society totalling over £17M (£10M as PI). 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 in 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 high-performance 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.


Senior Research Fellows

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

Alessandro Mirabelli - Lab Manager (ajm345[a] Started October 2023.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Stephanie Adeyemo (soa24[a]

Former PhD Student. Primary supervisor Prof. Hannah Joyce, and now Junior Research Fellow, Newnham College 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.


Hong In Jeong (hij24[a]

Hong In Jeong received his PhD in the Department of Chemistry at Hanyang University, South Korea. In June 2023, he joined the Strankslab as part of the Brainlink project, focusing on the study of Mechanoluminescence (ML) materials and mechanisms. His research aims to clearly elucidate the fundamental principles and charge carrier dynamics mechanisms of materials exhibiting ML characteristics. Not only clarifying the fundamental principles and mechanisms, but he also has interest in the development and application of various materials for ML. He started his journey in June 2023.


Danbi Kim (dk711[a]

Danbi Kim received her Ph.D. in Physics from Pukyong National University in 2023. Under the guidance of Professor Sung Hum Park, her research focused on controlling interfacial properties to enhance the efficiency and stability of organic and perovskite optoelectronic devices. Danbi joined StranksLab through the BrainLink project, where she is currently researching the analysis and optimization of interfacial properties in optoelectronic devices, such as solar cells and LEDs. Started July 2023.


Zimu Wei (zw450[a]

Zimu obtained her MSc in Chemical Engineering from Delft University of Technology, where she studied the two-photon absorption in metal halide perovskites under supervision of Dr. Tom J. Savenije. In 2019, she continued her academic journey in Delft by joining the group of Prof. Ferdinand C. Grozema for her PhD. Her research focused on ultrafast dynamics of charge transfer in organic donor–acceptor molecules and perovskite-based hybrid assemblies. Currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Strankslab, she works on time-resolved microscopy and spectroscopy of emerging materials for energy and quantum technologies. Started September 2023.


Hayden Salway (hajs2[a]


Hayden's 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 as a PhD October 2020. Started as a Postdoc October 2023.


PhD Students

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: Prof. Stephan Hofmann
Co-supervised by: Prof. 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: Prof. Sam Stranks


Alan Baldwin (ab2612[a]

Started October 2019

Supervised by: Prof. Sam Stranks


Youcheng Zhang (yz596[a]

Youcheng is a PhD student jointly supervised by Prof. Henning Sirringhaus in the Department of Physics. He works on the characterisation of charge and thermoelectric transport in Pb, Pb-Sn and 2D perovskites. Started October 2019.

Supervisor: Prof. Henning Sirringhaus

Co-supervised by: Prof. 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: Prof. Mete Atature
Co-supervised by: Prof. Sam Stranks


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: Prof. Sam Stranks
Co-supervised by: Prof. Akshay Rao


Cullen Chosy (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: Prof. Sam Stranks


Melissa Fitzsimmons (mrf47[a]

Started October 2021

Supervised by: Prof. 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: Prof. Sam Stranks
Co-supervised by: Diego Gianolio


 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: Prof. Sam Stranks


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: Prof. Sam Stranks
Co-supervised by: Dr. 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: Prof. 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: Prof. Sam Stranks
Co-supervised by: Prof. Paul Midgley and Dr. 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: Dr. 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: Dr. Miguel Anaya
Co-supervised by: Prof. 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: Dr. Miguel Anaya
Co-supervised by: Prof. 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: Prof. Richard Friend
Co-supervised by: Prof. 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: Prof. Sam Stranks
Co-supervised by: Dr. Simon Kahmann


Xian Wei Chua (xwc21[a]

Xian Wei employs ultrafast optical microscopy, correlated with multimodal techniques, to study energy and quantum materials with femtosecond temporal resolution and nanometer spatial precision. He graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2022 with a double first-class BA in Natural Sciences (Physics), and spent a year as a research scientist at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (Singapore). Started October 2023. 

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


Capucine Mamak (cpamm2[a]

Capucine is a PhD student on the Connected Electronics and Photonics CDT, her research focuses on investigating the correlations between the structural and optoelectronic properties of perovskites. She has previously studied for both a Physics BSc and masters at Bristol University, then completed an MRes at Cambridge University. Started October 2023.

Supervised by: Prof. Sam Stranks


Andrea Rogolino (ar2153[a]

Andrea is a NanoDTC PhD student based at the Department of Chemistry. He's trying to bring perovskites to the world of real artificial photosynthesis. Started October 2023.

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


Tariq Hussein

Tariq is a PhD student twinned between the Department of Physics and Chemical Engineering looking into the crystallisation kinetics of lead halide perovskite quantum dots. He is interested in studying the early-time growth of highly confined systems using microfluidics coupled with in-situ and ex-situ spectroscopic analysis. In tandem to this, his interest extends to organic semiconductor systems namely thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADFs). Utilising advanced spectroscopic techniques (e.g., transient absorption) to probe carrier dynamics at fast timescales (e.g., fs-ns) to improve the efficiency of blue emitting light diodes.

Previously, Tariq attended the University of Leeds attaining a degree in Chemical and Materials Engineering (BEng) followed by a master’s at the University of Cambridge in Advanced Chemical Engineering (MPhil) and Nanoscience (MRes). Started October 2023.

Supervised by: Prof. Laura Torrente Murciano
Co-supervised by: Prof. Sam Stranks


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