Dr. Biwu Ma

Dr. Biwu Ma
Stem Field
Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
Title of Research
Organic-Inorganic Metal Halide Hybrids Beyond Perovskites
Description of Research Area

Organic-inorganic metal halide hybrids, consisting of a wide range of organic cations and inorganic anions, are an important emerging class of crystalline materials with exceptional structural and property tunability. By choosing appropriate organic and inorganic components, the crystallographic structures can be finely controlled with the inorganic units, e.g. metal halide octahedra, forming 3D, 2D, 1D, and 0D structures at the molecular level in the hybrids. Remarkable progress has been realized in this research area in recent years, focusing mainly on 3D and 2D structures, but left low dimensional 1D and 0D structures significantly underexplored. As a world leading research group in this field, my group has successfully developed a number of low dimensional organic metal halide hybrids with 1D and 0D structures during the last couple of years (Nat. Comm. 2017, 8, 14051; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 9018-9022; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, DOI: 10.1002/anie.201710383; Chem. Sci. 2017, 8,

8400-8404; ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2017, 9, 40446-40451; ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces

2017, 9, 44579-44583; Chem. Sci. 2018, DOI: 10.1039/C7SC04539E; ACS Energy Lett. 2018, 3,

54-62). To further advance the research in metal halide hybrids, a new postdoctoral scholar will work under my supervision to develop new synthesis and processing approaches to assembly metal halide hybrids with controlled structural dimensionalities. Various characterization tools will be utilized to gain insights of nucleation mechanisms and growth kinetics to understand how the organic cations, inorganic anions, and synthetic conditions affect the crystal formation, and get a comprehensive understanding of the properties of the new materials to reveal the structure- property relationships. The applications of the new organic-inorganic hybrid materials in various types of optoelectronic devices, including photovoltaic cells (PVs), light emitting diodes (LEDs), photodetectors, and optically pumped lasers, will be explored. The success of this proposal will open up new avenues of research in low-cost high performance functional materials and devices.

Special Research & Career Skills

Multidisciplinary trainings in the areas of synthetic chemistry,  device physics, chemical engineering, etc. will be offered. In addition, the postdoc will improve writing skills though publications and grant applications, as well as presentation and communication skills by attending group, domestic and international meetings. The interactions with researchers with diverse backgrounds will improve the teamwork and leadership.