Interaction of light with solids in experiment and simulation

Hi there, sorry for not getting back to you but starting a new group and having new responsibilities (e.g. involvement in new degree programmes for Material Science) can take (part of) the blame. Photo: Uwe Meinhold Just as brief progress indicator, here a link to an interview of the Chemnitz University of Technology press office with me. (Photo: Uwe Meinhold)

The official short name of my group is OPKM, for Optics and Photonics of Condensed Matter. For the (very) long official name I refer you to the web page of the Institute of Physics at the TUC;-) The size of my group is growing slowly but steadily, and the lab building shows progress as well: setups for time correlated single photon counting to measure photoluminescence transients – e.g. to determine charge carrier recombination in perovskite solar cells – and for confocal measurements of luminescence are already available from my predecessor’s group: we just adapt them to our needs. Other setups, time resolved and steady state, are being built and come along nicely. Solar cell preparation is still improvised, using the glovebox system of a colleague and the evaporation chamber of another, until we get our own integrated glovebox/evaporator system. One of my main interests is still Organic Photovoltaics, and with my (PhD) background in inorganic photovoltaics I also look at the hybrid perovskite solar cell hype (as a hype is not necessarily a bad thing;-). What also remains is my joy to combine experiments and simulations (macroscopic device simulations, kinetic Monte Carlo simulations) to understand these systems.

If you are interested in joining us: I have two PhD positions available at present. Please check out the job offer (german; computer-translated here) and contact me.


Restarting in Chemnitz

Just a brief note, TU Chemnitz LogoI moved from Würzburg to the Institute of Physics at Chemnitz University of Technology this March, starting a new group. At present I have one PhD position open on Organic Photovoltaics – funded by the University, therefore including some teaching duty in German. Have a look here (in German) or drop me a line if you are interested. Cheers,


New life – again

On 11th of February (my birthday, incidentally), our 2nd child was born: Nicolas Jacob. We are so happy, as is our 2 year old daughter Chiara.

Even with only one kid, it was already rather quiet on this blog in the last months (well, 2 years…). Still, I do have some hope to be able to dedicate one or the other quiet minute to write some urgently needed updates to previous posts. All the best, Carsten


Hi there, I am late again, but nevertheless: a happy and successful year 2012!

I have collected a few links which might or might not interest you. Also, I plan to start with some scientific (background) posts again. Locust in ItalyLet’s see how this works out:-)

Press release of Heliatek: Heliatek achieves new world record for organic solar cells with certified 9.8 % cell efficiency. Evaporated small molecule tandem with area above 1cm2. Very good! Also, Mitsubishi Chemical has reached 10.1% efficiency on solution processed small molecules.

Nature looks back at the science year 2011: 365 days: Images of the year.

Interesting, although not related to physics: Syllabus for David Foster Wallace’s class “English 102-Literary Analysis: Prose Fiction Fall ’94”. Clear rules, yeah! Forgot who linked to it, sorry. Continue reading “2012”

Blue suits him better than pink

Children change the life, how very true. Not that I am less interested in Science in general, kleine HändeI do enjoy it! Nevertheless, somehow work seems less important these days – which maybe I should not admit openly ;-)

I received this statement,

Blue suits the lecturer better than pink

as one of the results of the lecture evaluation (Atom Physics for “Teachers to be”). Yes, I also received some other comments, most positive, some negative, all useful (including that one?;-)

Just to say that I am still amongst the living, here some bits and pieces I found during the last weeks, when time allowed. Continue reading “Blue suits him better than pink”


RelaxEU proposal submitted today, acceptance rate last year was 7%… so something for relaxing is required;-) As everybody relaxes differently, you have the choice of looking at the photograph or watching the video Bad project (disclaimer: a parody – thanks to Thiemo for the link).

For unrelated reading, but following up some other notes on publishing and peer review (see overview of posts here), an insightful post by Cameron Neylon: What is it with researchers and peer review? or; Why misquoting Churchill does not an argument make. If you are researcher, peer review is (and will remain) important. Therefore, staying up to date is not only interesting (e.g., you get to see the real Churchill quote;) but also useful to see its pros and cons more clearly. Interesting may be this Nature Materials editorial on Transparency in peer review (free with registration). Out of curiosity I just checked: I reviewed 21 papers in 2010, so a couple more than I (or a coauthor) actually submitted, but a lot less than I was asked to review…

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A happy and successful new year to you! It is almost three years since I started this blog, this being the 69th post. A lot happened in this time, also for me: both personally (as some of the long term readers now;-) and professionally (despite still being in Würzburg;-). Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku-ji) So, let me thank you, valued reader – and comments contributor, an active participation which I highly appreciate!

Many things I want to write about I have not had time to handle in the recent months. For now, let me start with just briefly revisiting what I have written. Hints of what I will add in the coming weeks and months are to come soon (soon meaning: worst case mid February, as one proposal is submitted by then, lecture is finished and project meeting / seminar talk marathon “finished”;-).

Find the overview below. Continue reading “2011”

New Record for Organic Solar Cells and other stuff

Solarmer did it again: 8.13% power conversion efficiency, certified by NREL, were anounced at the currently running SPIE Optics and Photonics conference in San Diego.

I am also here, my talk will be on wednesday afternoon – but do not expect any breakthroughs in terms of performance from me:-) Maybe there will be more news here in the days to come.

Foothill Mountains - Russian RidgeIn June and July, I was visiting scientist in the group of Mike McGehee at Stanford University for five very interesting weeks. Thanks again for hosting me, and for the interesting discussions we had! I also had a brief visit to PARC, the Palo Alto Research Center, for an interesting discussion with Robert Street about the photocurrent in organic solar cells. We finally agreed to disagree on some issues, but from my point of view, that’s absolutely fine.

During my Stanford visit, there was fortunately time enough for hiking in the Foothill Mountains as well! Highly recommended. Thanks to Andreas and Verena as well as Matthias for getting me started.

Continue reading “New Record for Organic Solar Cells and other stuff”