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INSTITUTE FOR MATERIALS DISCOVERY

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FMED Team

We are an interdisciplinary team, with backgrounds in Materials Science, Engineering, Physics and Chemistry.

Principal Investigator: Dr Mojtaba Abdi-Jalebi 

Dr Mojtaba Abdi-Jalebi
Office: Room 113, Roberts Engineering Building, Institute for Materials Discovery, Malet Place, London, WC1E 7JE, UK.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/M_AbdiJalebi
UCL webpage: https://profiles.ucl.ac.uk/75498
Email: m.jalebi@ucl.ac.uk

Dr Mojtaba Abdi-Jalebi is an Associate Professor in Energy Materials in the Institute for Materials Discovery, the faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University College London (UCL). He graduated from Sharif University of Technology in 2012 with a BSc (Materials Science and Engineering) and he received his MSc in Materials Science and Engineering in 2014 from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. He completed his PhD in Physics at Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, receiving the 2018 Semiconductor Physics Thesis Prize from Institute of Physics. From 2018-2020, he was a Junior Research Fellow at Cambridge University and Wolfson College, Cambridge, where he set up a spin-out company to develop energy harvesting devices based on emerging semiconductors. Mojtaba established his research group in UCL in November 2019, with a focus on material and electronic properties of emerging functional materials such as semiconductors including halide perovskites, small molecules and organic semiconductors for optoelectronic and electrochemical devices for low-cost electronics applications (e.g., solar-photovoltaics, lighting) and energy systems enabling carbon capture and production of green fuels. His research aims to develop and incorporate new inexpensive materials in energy devices to alter the energy landscape by reducing the cost of energy production, consumption, and storage.

Mojtaba’s full publications list is available on Google Scholar here.

 

Postdocs / Research Fellows:

Nusrat Rashid
Dr Nusrat Rashid

Email: nusrat.rashid@ucl.ac.uk

Research interests: My research focuses on the development of industrially viable electrochemical systems for direct CO2 conversion to methanol. Currently, I am formulating earth-abundant n-type semiconductors as prospectus anode cores for sustainable, direct and cost-effective PV-EC CO2 electrolysers for net negative GHG emissions in accordance with the circular carbon economy. I am also involved in the life cycle assessment of the prototype development and devising an appraisal method for identifying environmental, social and economic effects of such system on real-world technology translation.

Background: During my PhD, I fabricated different copper-based electrocatalysts to convert CO2 into fuels and factory chemicals. My research involved studies to detail the catalyst structure-activity relationship and structuring electrode/electrolyte interface to selectively favour C2 products over C1 products at low overpotentials and with high CO2 conversion efficiencies.


Previous experience: 
•    PhD in Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, India
•    M.Sc in Chemistry, University of Kashmir Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir

 

preetam_sharma
Dr preetam Kumar Sharma

Email: preetam.sharma@ucl.ac.uk

Research interests: Dr Preetam Sharma is a research fellow on solar-driven electrochemical system for sustainable direct CO2 reduction. Specifically, he is developing electrocatalysts for the direct conversion of CO2 to methanol. The investigation of the electrocatalysts by advanced techniques including in-situ techniques is also of particular focus for him. He is also interested in developing electrochemical reactors and systems which can be operable at high current and high selectivity at industrially relevant operational lifetime. He a member of UKRI Interdisciplinary Centre for Circular Chemical Economy (www.circular-chemical.org).

 Background: Before joining UCL, Preetam Sharma worked as a Research Associate at Loughborough University. In the project, he developed catalysts and reactors for selective conversion of CO2 to CO and multicarbons. He also improved the stability of gas diffusion electrodes and investigated materials by in-situ techniques. He received his PhD in photoelectrochemical water splitting and CO2 reduction from the School of Engineering, Ulster University, UK in 2017. Since completing his PhD, he has been working on a variety of academic and industrial projects focusing on advanced materials for energy, environment and health.


Previous experience: 

  • AFHEA, Ulster University, UK
  • PhD in Solar fuels, Ulster University, UK
  • M.Tech. in Nanotechnology, University of Rajasthan, India

PhD students:

Quanyao Lin
Quanyao Lin

Email: quanyao.lin.19@ucl.ac.uk 

Research interests: My research focuses on novel approaches for efficient, cost-effective, and environmental-friendly photovoltaic devices. I am currently working on combining plasmonic nanoparticles with thin film photovoltaic technologies (perovskite, organic solar cells, etc) as a light management strategy.

Background: During my previous degrees, I have worked on various projects related to nanomaterials, such as quantum dot luminescent spectral converters for solar cells, graphene/silicon Schottky solar cells, and X-ray nanoscintillators for cancer treatment.


Previous experience: 
•    MPhil Micro- and Nanotechnology and Enterprise, University of Cambridge
•    BEng Materials Science and Engineering, Imperial College London


Ying Lu
Ying Lu 

Email: ying.lu.20@ucl.ac.uk 

Research interests: My research focuses on the development of stable perovskites nanocrystals light-emitting diodes (LEDs) with additive engineering. I am currently working on synthesizing consistent NCs, high-quality thin films with various additives and highly efficient and stable perovskite LED devices. 

Background: During my MSc degree, I focused on the synthesis and additive doping of CsPbBr3 nanocrystals to achieve higher performances. In this project, CsPbBr3 NCs were synthesized and achieved green light-emission by the method of “thermal-reaction-redispersion”. During my B.Eng. degree, I have worked on two projects related to photocatalysis, which is “Unravelling the C–C coupling in COphotocatalytic reduction with H2O on Au/TiO2-x: Combination of plasmonic excitation and oxygen vacancy”.

Previous experience:

  • M.Sc. Advanced Material Science, University College London, UK.
  • B.Eng. Chemical Engineering, The University of Edinburgh, UK 
  • B.Eng. Chemical Engineering and Technology, Liaoning ShiHua University, China.

Huiming Luo
Huiming Luo

Email: huiming.luo.22@ucl.ac.uk 

Research interests: I mainly focus on the eco-friendly fabrication of perovskite solar cell including the tin-based perovskites and double perovskites. I will develop several passivation methods enabling green and non-toxic processes for solar cell fabrication.

Background: During my BSc research project, I studied smart hydrogels, like temperature-sensitive and pH-sensitive hydrogels. For my master's degree, I designed and synthesized perovskite with multiple components, and passivated the functional layer with a range of small molecules for the typical n-i-p structure.

Previous experience: 

  • M.Sc. Environmental engineering, South China University of Technology, China.
  • B.Sc. Environmental engineering, Nanjing Forestry University, China.

galyam
Galyam Sanfo

Email: galyam.sanfo.20@ucl.ac.uk 

Research interests: My research focuses on the development of stable, scalable, and eco-friendly semiconductors for enhanced optoelectronic and electrochemical applications. I will be working on the development of lead-free halide perovskite composites and co-catalysts to improve photocatalytic efficiency and stability. Furthermore, I will be designing suitable perovskite composites for enhanced optoelectronic resilience, as prospective candidates for next-generation X-ray scintillators.

Background: My MSc research focused on mixed halide perovskites engineering and tuning for indoors photovoltaic IoT applications. I focused on poly- halogenic substitutions derived from MAPbI3 to modulate the material’s bandgap and improve structural and optoelectronic properties. Through this, the edge absorption profile was tuned to efficiently accommodate for indoor light illumination.

Previous experience: 

  • M.Sc. Advanced Material Science, University College London, UK.
  • B. Sc. Biochemistry, Queen Mary University of London, UK. 

shurui_yang
Shurui Yang 

Email: Shurui.yang.22@ucl.ac.uk 

Research interests (current project): My research focuses on highly efficient and sustainable CO2 capture, utilization and storage as solar fuel (methanol). I am currently working on optimizing and maximizing the performance of the electrochemistry (EC) devices as well as the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) modelling of EC systems.

Background (previous research projects/expertise):  During my MSc degree, I conducted a study on dimensionality reduction methods to simplify the CALPHAD database. In this project, Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Auto-Encoder had been introduced to calculate the large-scale parametric phase diagram subsystems. During my B.Eng. degree, I have focused primarily on photocatalytic H2 evolution and have synthesised a series of photocatalysts formed as heterojunctions or introduced surface defects based on g-C3N4 such as g-C3N4/CdS and g-C3N4/RGO/TiO2 composites.

Previous experience:

  • M.Sc. Advanced Engineering Material, The University of Manchester, UK
  • B.Eng. New Energy Materials and Devices, Nanjing Tech University, China

S
Siming Huang
iming Huang

Email: siming.huang.22@ucl.ac.uk 

Research interests: My project aims to design suitable perovskite compositions for indoor PV application and perform a systematic study on their optoelectronic properties, such as the influence of changing temperature, to reveal the origin of performance losses and instability in perovskite thin films and indoor solar cells.

Background: During my undergraduate and master's degrees, I mainly engaged in the research related to 2D materials, such as providing a convenient and efficient way to obtain high dielectric material in atomic scale thickness with controlling the numbers, exploring the exciton dynamics and properties of different materials on variable temperature PL spectroscopy from 4K to 300K, etc.

Previous experience: 

  • M.Sc. Optics and Photonics, Imperial College London, UK.
  • B.Sc. Optoelectronic Information Science and Engineering, HIT, China. 

Zahra Ibrahim M Albu
Zahra Ibrahim M Albu

Email: zahra.albu.22@ucl.ac.uk

Research interests: My research aims to create 3D nanostructured electrocatalyst for overall water splitting using graphene and layered hydroxide combined with a theoretical understanding of active sites and reaction mechanism.

Background: My first master's thesis focus was synthesizing silicon nanoparticles using ball milling and modeling for the potential use of solar cells via Material Studio. While in the second degree, my research focused on a new concept of corrosion detection using iron nanowires and a magnetic sensor. I also have exposed to other research topics through a laboratory course on solid-state physics that focuses on the fabrication process of transistors and the characterization of such devices. My most recent research at KACST focused on finding highly efficient electrocatalysis for water splitting, where the research bound experimental data with theoretical calculation using Density functional theory.

Previous experience: 

  • Research Associate - King Abdulaziz City of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia.
  • M.Sc. Electrical engineering- Electrophysics- King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. 
  • M.A.Sc. Electrical engineering- University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada.
  • B.Sc. Physics, Imam Abdulraham bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

yifan_chen
Yifan Chen

Email: yifan.chen.23@ucl.ac.uk

Research Interests: In general, I feel motivated doing research in the fields related to renewable energy resources. I am currently working on electrocatalysis in water-splitting for hydrogen production, focusing on material characterization and investigation of the correlation between the material structure and catalytical activity. My aim is to optimize the performance of light-weight solar-driven water-splitting devices.

Background: My MEng research project focused on potassium-ion diffusivity in graphite anodes for the field of batteries, using Galvanostatic Intermittent Titration Technique. Physical and crystallographic characters of multiple commercial graphite powder were compared in relation to the battery capacity, initial efficiency, and diffusivity.

Previous experience:

MEng. Materials Science (4 years integrated), University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.


MSc students:


1
 Wenya Dong 

Email:wenya.dong.23@ucl.ac.uk  

Research project: Study of optoelectronic and structural properties of perovskite semiconductors for energy applications 

Background:  Wenya Dong received her Bachelor of Engineering degree from South China Agricultural University, China, in June 2023. Her undergraduate thesis, entitled ‘Study on Preparation and Improved Performance of a New Type of S-Scheme TiO2 Composite’, focused on constructing TiO2/chlorophyll(TiO2/Chl) S-scheme heterojunction composite photocatalysts by a physical strategy and the exploration of its photocatalytic performance as well as mechanism, 

Previous experience:

  • B. Eng Materials Science and Engineering, South China Agricultural University, China 


2
 Shiyin Jin 

 

Email: shiyin.jin.23@ucl.ac.uk 

Research project: The Study of Optoelectronic and Structural Properties of Perovskite Semiconductors for Energy Applications 

Background: During my undergraduate studies, I mainly engaged in the research topic of enhanced passivation durability in the perovskite solar cells via concentration-independent passivators. I also had the experience of working on the performance improvement of semi-transparent solar cells.  

Previous experience: 

  • BA(Hons) Physics, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom 

 

3
Weihai Yin 

Email: uacqwyi@ucl.ac.uk 

Research project: Study of optoelectronic and structural properties of perovskite semiconductors for energy applications 

Background:  Weihai Yin received his bachelor degree of Materials Science and Engineering in July 2023. He also participated in the software development project of intelligent recognition for internship testing at Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics. And he conducted an internship at SGS company, mainly responsible for testing the tensile strength, hardness, aging, and other aspects of non-metallic materials. His undergraduate project is: Development of processing parameters for H13 in Hybrid L-PBF. 

 


4
Zeshi Li

Email: zeshi.li.23@ucl.ac.uk 

Research project: Understanding rational selection of catalyst, structure-activity relationship for zero-carbon energy driven hydrogen production.  

Background: Zeshi Li received his Bachelor of Chemistry degree from University of Bristol, United Kingdom in June 2023. My undergraduate thesis entitled ‘’Protocellular Community Formation Driven by Host-Guest Interactions’’, focused on a bottom-up assembly and synthesis of artificial cell, colloidosomes. By functionalizing its out-phase membrane by specific compound with host and guest chemistry, the living cells properties of movement communication and recognition can be introduced in them which exhibit photosensitive properties and have the capacity to be utilised for multienzymatic reaction. 

Previous experience: 

  • BSc in Chemistry, University of Bristol, United Kingdom 

 

5
Jiayang Ying 

Email: jiayang.ying@23.ucl.ac.uk 

Research project: Understanding rational selection of catalyst, structure-activity relationship for zero-carbon energy driven hydrogen production. 

Background: Jiayang Ying received his Bachelor of Science degree from University of Science and Technology Beijing, China, in June 2022. His undergraduate thesis, entitled Temperature Dependence of Interface and Tensile Anisotropy for TPU during Melt-extrusion-based Additive Manufacturing, focused on exploring the impact of the temperature attenuation behaviour of the deposited line on the interfacial healing process during melt-extrusion-based additive manufacturing for thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) in different envelope temperature, to reveal the temperature dependence on the interface bonding strength and the interface development.  

Previous experience:

  • BSc Applied Chemistry, University of Science and Technology Beijing, China 

 

6
Ziyi (Ella) Feng 

Email:ziyi.feng.23@ucl.ac.uk 

Research project: Understanding rational selection of catalyst, structure-activity relationship for zero-carbon energy driven hydrogen production. 
  
Background: Ziyi Feng received her Bachelor of Engineering degree from East China University of Science and Technology, China, in May 2022. Her undergraduate thesis, entitled " Preliminary Design of Production Process of Emulsion-polymerized Styrene Butadiene Rubber(E-SBR) with an Annual Output of 100,000 Tons", focused on designing and calculating the optimum process to compound E-SBR fast and in high quality.     

Previous experience: 

  • B.Eng in Polymer Materials Science and Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, China

 

7
Zhiyu(Christina) Guo

Email: zhiyu.guo.20@ucl.ac.uk 

Research Project: Understanding rational selection of catalyst, structure-activity relationship for zero-carbon energy driven hydrogen production 

Background: Zhiyu Guo earned her Bachelor of Science degree from University College London, United Kingdom, in 2023. Her literature review, completed in her third year, is entitled "The Significance and Approaches of Implementing EDI Education into Academic Materials for Chemistry Undergraduates." This review focused on analyzing the guidelines of EDI education for Chemistry undergraduates and exploring various approaches to ensure its effective implementation.  

Previous experience:

  • MBSc Chemistry, University College London, United Kingdom 

 

8
Rishi Francis Roy 

Email: rishi.roy.23@ucl.ac.uk  

Research project: Study of noble metal-free electrocatalysts for CO2 conversion to fuels  

Background: Rishi Francis Roy received his bachelor’s in chemical engineering degree from Vellore Institute of Technology, China, in June 2023. His undergraduate thesis, entitled "Application of Ohmic Heating for Extraction of Pigments from Vegetable Source", investigated the potential of ohmic heating as a pre-treatment method for effectively extracting natural pigments from vegetable sources, demonstrating its efficacy through varied parameters and characterization techniques such as FTIR and FESEM without significant degradation of functional groups. 

Previous experience: 

  • B. Tech Chemical Engineering, Vellore Institute of Technology, India 

 

9
Peiyuan Yan 

Email: peiyuan.yan.23@ucl.ac.uk 

Research project: Study of noble metal-free electrocatalysts for CO2 conversion to fuels 

Background: Peiyuan Yan received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, in June 2023. His undergraduate thesis, entitled "Aluminium Alloy Selection for High Performance Marine Vessels", focused on understanding how changes in the manufacturing process, particularly the shift from hot rolling to cold rolling, affect the susceptibility of aluminium alloys to stress corrosion cracking (SCC). 

Previous experience:

  • BSc Materials Science and Engineering, University of Manchester, United Kingdom

 

10
Jiacheng Tian 

Email: jiacheng.tian.19@ucl.ac.uk  

Research project: Study of noble metal-free electrocatalysts for CO2 conversion to fuels 

Background: Jiacheng Tian received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree from University College London, UK in October 2022. His undergraduate final year literature review focused on the comparison of molecular solar thermal energy storage system between Dihydroazulene-Vinylheptafulvene system with suitable modification and mature Norbornadiene-Quadricyclane system. 

Previous experience: 

  • B.Sc. Chemistry, University College London, UK 

 

11
Wenhan Xie 

Email: ucaqwxi@ucl.ac.uk 

Research project: Study of noble metal-free electrocatalysts for CO2 conversion to fuels 
Background: Wenhan Xie received his ChemicalEngineering degree from Sichuan University, China, in June 2023. His undergraduate thesis, entitled "Research on Quality Regulation of Perovskite Photoactive Layer Thin Films and Photovoltaic Performance", focused on formamidinium (FA)perovskite solar cells and introduced a new organic molecule, 3,3-bis(bromomethyl)-3,4-dihydro-2H-thieno[3,4-b][1,4]dioxepine(BDTD), into the perovskite precursor. The characteristic functional groups or elements (such as thiophene, atomic Br) of this molecule interact with the unsaturated coordination Pb2+ in the precursor, thereby regulating the crystallization process of the perovskite. 

Previous experience:

  • Bachelor of Engineering In Chemical Engineering and Technology at Sichuan University, China 


12
Yushan Song 

Email: yushan.song.23@ucl.ac.uk 

Research Project: Using machine learning to explore stability perovskite solar cells 

Background: Yushan Song received his bachelor degree of Engineering and bachelor degree of Business Administration from University of Science and Technology of China in June 2023, with him majoring in Renewable Energy Materials and Devices and Business Administration. He also attended an online curriculum of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (Computer Vision) provided by National University of Singapore. His undergraduate program was “Using machine learning to explore stability perovskite solar cells and using LCOE to analyse the solar station power station project”. 

Previous experience: 

  • BEng & BBA Renewable Energy Materials and Devices + Business Administration, University of Science and Technology of China, China 

 

Former members:

MSc cohorts

2022-2023

  • Hongbo Zhang
  • Congyi Li
  • Dechen Deng
  • Jinyi Hu
  • Lin Shen
  • Yanhao Sun
  • Xu Yu
  • Yujie Wo
  • Zhixuan Xia
  • Zhiying Pi
  • Ziyi Cheng
  • Jacky Wang
  • Gongchang Lu
  • Xuandi Zhu

MSc3

2021-2022

  • Ruiqi Wu
  • Sirui Yang
  • Franhao Ji
  • Ruxue Yang
  • Bochun Kang
  • Runbin Zang
  • Yitao Cheng
  • Vivi Zhang
  • Yu-Kai Su
  • Haiyang Yu

MSc2

2020-2021

  • Rui Zhou
  • Qiwen Yang
  • Ying Lu
  • Weilun Zheng
  • Galyam Sanfo
  • Mingxuan Zhang
  • Ruijie Xu
  • Jiarui Sun
  • Patrick Carmody
  • Jie Deng

MSc1

2019-2020

  • Xuefei Liang
  • Xiaorui Li
  • Shaoyang Wang
  • Jiacheng Wu
  • Jiaojiao Hu

Summer Interns

2022-2023

  • Felicitie Mason
  • Yuxin Fan