Current group members

Prof Ifor Samuel

Ifor studied for both his MA and PhD in Physics at Cambridge where he developed his fascination with conjugated polymers. After finishing his PhD he moved to Paris and worked with France Telecom for two years, investigating the non linear optical properties of organic materials. Then he returned to Cambridge for a year, received a Royal Society University Research Fellowship and took up a position at the University of Durham until  August 2000 when he moved to St Andrews. In 2001 he started the Organic Semiconductor Centre to encourage collaboration between physicists and chemists in developing the next generation of organic semiconductors and the wider field of organic electronics.


Prof Graham Turnbull

Graham is a professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of St Andrews. He graduated with a first-class M.Sci. degree in physics in 1995 and a Ph.D. in 1999, both from the University of St Andrews. His doctoral research project on nonlinear optics was supported by a Carnegie Trust Scholarship. Graham’s work on organic semiconductors began as a postdoc at the University of Durham. From 2002 to 2007 he held an EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and Fellow of the Institute of Physics. His current research interests focus on photonic applications of soft materials, including organic semiconductors, plastic lasers, chemical sensing, smart lighting technologies and nanophotonics.

Dr Arvydas Ruseckas

Arvydas graduated in Physics from Vilnius University in Lithuania in 1985 and received his PhD in chemical dynamics and physics jointly from the Lund University (Sweden) and the Institute of Physics (Vilnius) in 1999. He joined the team at the University of St Andrews in February 2001. His current research involves studies of photophysics and light amplification in conducting polymers, molecular solids and model organic molecules using ultrashort light pulses and ultrafast spectroscopy.


Dr Pavlos Manousiadis

Pavlos was born in Chernogorks, Russia. After completing his undergraduate studies in physics at University of Athens in 2005, he continued his studies and obtained M.Sc. degrees in I.T. and solid-state physics from the same university. His Ph.D. research was conducted in National Centre for Scientific Research “Demokritos”, in the area of silicon nanocrystals and their application in photovoltaics. In April of 2013, he joined the group as a research fellow and currently is working in the field of optical communications.

Dr Ross Gillanders

Ross was awarded a BSc(Hons) in Instrumentation with Applied Physics from Glasgow Caledonian University in 2001, and completed his PhD in Physical Chemistry with a thesis titled “Optically-Addressed Thin Film Sensors” in 2004 at Strathclyde University, Glasgow. His first postdoctoral position was at the ICMCB at the University of Bordeaux developing spectroscopic instrumentation for supercritical fluid processes, before moving to the Optical Sensors Laboratory in Dublin City University in late 2005 to work on an optical oxygen sensor for marine and estuarine applications. He subsequently worked in University College Cork developing novel polymeric optical oxygen sensors for food packaging. Prior to taking the role at St Andrews in October 2013, Ross worked for three years at Cork Institute of Technology, mainly developing instrumentation for industry-led water-related projects.

Dr Kou Yoshida

Kou was born in Nagasaki, Japan. He has been committed to research in organic semiconductors since he was an undergraduate at Kyushu University, Japan. He conducted his bachelor, master and PhD studies there under the supervision of Prof. Chihaya Adachi and gained experience in the design and synthesis of organic materials as well as device fabrication and characterization. His PhD study is on device temperature rise of organic semiconductor devices during short voltage pulse application at high current density. After he obtained PhD in engineering, he joined the groups of Profs. Ifor Samuel and Graham Turnbull as a research fellow. He is currently studying organic light-emitting diodes for optical communication.



Dr Alfonso Brenlla

 Alfonso graduated in chemistry at the University of Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain. He obtained a PhD at the same institution investigating photoinduced electron and proton transfer reactions in small organic molecules. In late 2010 he moved to Wayne State University in Detroit where he investigated DNA polymerases by single-molecule fluorescence. He joined the group in April 2016 and his current research project involves the characterization of conjugated polymers by single-molecule techniques.


Dr Saydulla Persheyev

 Saydulla was born in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. In 1995 completed his PhD working on the joint research project between Ioffe Institute (St Petersburg, Russia) and Tashkent State University (Uzbekistan). In 1997 he joined “Amorphous materials group” at Dundee University working on various projects linked to PECVD deposition and excimer laser processing of amorphous hydrogenated silicon for various applications such as solar cells, bio-sensors, detectors, THz emission etc. From 2005 to 2009 worked for the spin out company based in Dundee “Quantum Filament Technologies” working on the development of thin film Field Emission Displays based on excimer laser crystallised amorphous silicon films. In 2014 he joined the School of Physics and Astronomy, St Andrews University. His current research interests are non-invasive medical devices for treatment and diagnostics, development of novel organic light emitting diode (OLED) based light sources for photodynamic therapy (PDT) to treat parasite based and fungal infection skin diseases, biophotonics and biosensors.

Dr Abhishek Gupta

 Abhishek is from historical place Kalpi, 165 Km from Lucknow, India. He completed his B.Sc. in Chemistry and Industrial Chemistry from Janta College, Bakewar (U.P.) and M.Sc. in Industrial Chemistry from Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Aligarh. He also completed M.Tech in Nanotechnology from AMU. During M.Tech he worked on nano-sized semiconducting TiO2 powder at ARCI Hyderabad. After M.Tech, he worked on device fabrication for photovoltaic cell at National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi. In 2017, he received his PhD on “Schiff base derivatives as Fluorescent Chemosensors, Solid State NIR Emitters and Catalysts” from IIT Mandi under the guidance of Dr. Pradeep C. Parameswaran. He joined University of St. Andrews as Newton International Fellow, where he is working on highly efficient red TADF emitters for photodynamic therapy (PDT).

Dr Jonathon Harwell

Jonathon is from Sussex, England and graduated with an MPhys in Physics from University St Andrews in 2014. In 2012 he worked with Dr Bansal and Dr Giardini on the fabrication of an optoelectronic muscle contraction sensor, with a view to use as an input device for prosthetic limbs. For his masters project he performed an investigation into the effects of strong coupling on organic light emitters in metal microcavities, with a focus on the effect on the energy of the light emitting singlet states. He started a PhD with Prof Ifor Samuel’s group in September 2014, and is working on the fabrication of solar cells using perovskites – a promising new class of material – and on Monte Carlo simulations for modelling exciton diffusion in crystalline materials.

Dr Natalie Mica

Natalie is from Austin , Texas. In 2016 she completed her BSc with Honors from the University of Texas at Austin with a research project about the dynamics of phase separation in lipid membranes. Later that year she joined the group to study the fabrication of organic and hybrid solar cells using various photophysical measurements to understand why they do (or do not) work.


Dr Mengjie Wei

 Mengjie is from Anhui, China and graduated from Shanghai University in March 2016 with an MSc in Microelectronics. During the two and a half years, she worked on a national project about the multi-wavelength amplified spontaneous emission from different kinds of micro-structures. In September 2016, Mengjie was offered a place as PhD student under the supervision of Prof Ifor Samuel and was sponsored by China Scholarship Council. Currently her research focuses on organic semiconductor polariton light emitters, especially on the strong coupling and polariton lasing phenomena of organic materials in microcavities.

Dr Wenbo Li

Wenbo hold a BEng degree (on Display Technology) from East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China. He also graduated with a BSc (Hons) degree from the physics department in University Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK in 2015. From 2015 to 2016, he stayed in Strathclyde and joined the group of Dr Aidan Arnold and Dr Paul Griffin as a MRes student for an attempt to make a 420nm blue magneto-optical trap utilizing diffraction gratings so as to gain colder thermal atoms. He started a PhD in Prof. Ifor Samuel’s group in September 2016. His research now mainly focusses on thermally assist delay fluorescence (TADF) emitters for organic light emitting diodes.

Dr Hassan Hafeez

Hassan completed his Bachelors (BSc) in Metallurgy and Materials Engineering in 2009 from University of the Punjab, Pakistan. He was then awarded a fully funded overseas fellowship by the Government of Pakistan for MS leading to PhD education at Hanyang University, South Korea. During his doctorate (2011-2016) in Materials Engineering, he explored various interdisciplinary topics including semiconductor micro/nano fabrication, photolithography, etching, thin-film properties, surface functionalization techniques, wettability, and microfluidic designs. After his graduation, he joined Korea University as a research professor (2016-2020) with a focus on organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), silicon/polymer solar cells (Photovoltaics), wearable/stretchable electronics, and charge transport mechanisms. He started working at the group of Profs. Ifor Samuel and Graham Turnbull as a research fellow in 2020 with a research interest in high efficiency and uniformity of large-area OLEDs for photodynamic therapy, and flexible optoelectronic devices.

Dr Le (Leon) Zhang

Leon is from Shaanxi, China. He got his PhD degree in 2013 from Tokyo Institute of Technology with a focus on carrier transport in organic electronic devices by using time-resolved second-harmonic generation technique (prof. Iwamoto Mitsumasa). After that he spent one year in kyushu University on OLEDs (prof. Adachi Chihaya) and two years in Eindhoven University of Technology (prof. Reinder Coehoorn) on bimolecular interaction in phosphorescent organic host-guest thin films. Now, he is working on high efficiency long lifetime blue OLEDs and characterization methods.

Iain Campbell

 Iain holds an Mphys degree from the University of St Andrews, he interned with the group throughout his degree, working with Dr Gillanders and Professor Turnbull on explosives sensing. He has now joined the group and is working towards his PhD; His research is focused on sensing applications of organic semiconductors, particularly explosives and biomedical sensing.


Cheng Lian

Cheng is from Xiamen, China. He graduated with a BEng from Taiyuan University of Technology. Then he completed his MSc at Hong Kong Baptist University with a research project about developing large area organic light-emitting diodes for solid-state lighting. Cheng joined the group in October 2017 as a PhD student supervised by Prof. Ifor Samuel. His research mainly focuses on developing organic optoelectronics devices for medical applications.


Junyi Gong

Junyi is from Shanghai, China and graduated from Fudan University in 2018 with an MSc in physical electronics with a project about all-inorganic perovskite distributed feedback lasers. Junyi joined the group in September 2018 as a PhD student supervised by Prof. Ifor Samuel and Prof. Graham Turnbull. His research mainly focuses on hybrid organic perovskite lasers and underlying device and material physics.


Stefan Diesing

Stefan studied chemistry at the University of Cologne where he obtained a BSc at the end of 2016, as well as a MSc in 2019 working under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Klaus Meerholz. During his Bachelor and Master studies he investigated organic solar cells and charge carrier mobility in organic semiconductors. Currently, Stefan is pursuing a PhD in Physics at the University of St Andrews, where his research will focus on next-generation thermally assisted delayed fluorescence materials co-supervised by Prof. Dr. Eli Zysman-Colman and Prof. Dr. Ifor Samuel.


Edward Ogugu

Edward obtained an MSc in Applied Physics with a Distinction from the University of Strathclyde in 2017, sponsored by the UK government via Chevening Scholarship.   He completed his BSc in Physics at Bayero University, Kano in Nigeria in 2013, during that period he was still actively working as a police officer. In fact, He has over 17 years work experience working with the Nigeria Police Force, part of which he spent about five years working as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technician with the Police Anti-bomb Squad in Nigeria. He has keen interest in developing novel sensors for efficient detection of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). In 2019 he was awarded a Commonwealth Doctoral Scholarship tenable at the University of St Andrews, and presently conducting research to develop novel optical sensors using organic fluorescent materials for enhanced detection of IEDs.

Peter Brown

Peter studied at the university of Warwick where he obtained an Mchem in 2019 under the supervision of Prof. Pat Unwin. His project revolved around optically visualising mass transport in nanopipettes with laser scanning. Currently, Peter is pursuing a PhD in Physics at the University of St Andrews with his research utilising time-resolved spectroscopy to investigate solution-based semi-conductors such as perovskites. He is co-supervised by Prof. Ifor Samuel and Prof. Eli Zysman-Colman. In his free time Peter enjoys playing tennis and strategy games.


Mina Riahi

Mina graduated from University of Tabriz in Iran in 2018, where she completed her Master of Science in Electrical Engineering- Micro and Nanoelectronics Devices. Her master’s thesis wasmainly about the role of  trap states in response time of  infrared photodetectors. Now, in St Andrews her PhD thesis is about large area organic light emitting diode for photodynamic therapy.