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 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 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 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.



Dr 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.

David Webster

David graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 2019 with an MSc in Physics, with his Masters’ project focused on temperature-induced photochromic switching in Eu-doped GaN LEDs. David is pursuing a PhD in Physics at the University of St Andrews. His work is centred around characterisation of organic and hybrid-organic perovskite semiconductor materials through various non-destructive optical and electrical methods, including contact potential difference and ambient photoemission spectroscopy. 



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 was mainly 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. 




Michele Duarte Tonet

Michele is from Brazil and graduated in Physics from the Federal University of Santa Catarina. During her undergrad studies, she was a research student at the Laboratory of Organic Optoelectronic and Anisotropic Systems, where she studied liquid crystal molecules applied to electronic devices. Michele obtained her Masters in Material Science and Engineering, in 2021, at the same university. During her Masters, she studied electrospinning techniques with the objective of producing fluorescent polymeric nano and microfibres. Currently, Michele is a PhD student at the University of St Andrews and joined the group in October 2021. She is co-supervised by Prof. Graham Turnbull and Prof. Eli Zysman-Colman and her project is focused on the development of optical sensors to detect environmental analytes. In her spare time, Michele likes cycling, hiking, travelling, and watching TV shows. 

Aswin Sasi

Aswin Sasi is from Kerala, India. He has done his Bachelor’s in Biotechnology from Sahrdaya College of Engineering and Technology, Kerala, and Master’s in Bioscience and Bioengineering from IIT Jodhpur. He is currently doing his  PhD on developing a smart lighting system for growing algae, supervised by Prof. Graham Turnbull.




Marianna Leite De Avellar

Marianna was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and have graduated in Medicine in Faculdade de Medicina de Petrópolis in 2017, following with her MScR Infectious Diseases by the University of Edinburgh in the same year. As a Primary Health Care Specialist by the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, she has worked directly with patients in situations of vulnerability and lack of resources, including during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Marianna is a PhD student in the School of Medicine working on an interdisciplinary project in Optoelectronics with the School of Physics and Astronomy to develop antimicrobial Photodynamic Therapy. PDT is a possible alternative to traditional antimicrobials, considering the continuous growth of resistance to antibiotics by pathogenic microbes and the need for new treatments for these infections. Her career goal is to pursue new technologies and treatment options for infectious diseases that mainly affect the most vulnerable people in low-income countries, especially in an expected era of antimicrobial resistance.

Thomas Sayner

Thomas is a PhD student supervised by Prof Ifor D W Samuel. His thesis “High speed optoelectronic properties of organic semiconductors” focusses on measuring properties of working optoelectronic devices such as OLEDs and Organic Solar Cells. He graduated with a first class MPhys degree from the University of St Andrews in 2022.




Egle Tankeleviciute

Eglė is from Šiauliai, a reasonably sized city in Lithuania. She studied at Vilnius University where she received a BSc degree in physics. During her undergraduate years, Eglė became fascinated with the world of organic optoelectronics and spent much time in the laboratories of the Institute of Photonics and Nanotechnology. Eglė’s work was focused on bifluorene derivatives, which possessed surprisingly strong spin-orbit coupling, and transient absorption spectroscopy to density functional theory calculations were employed to understand the processes at hand. Currently, Eglė is a PhD student at the University of St Andrews and joined the group in September 2022. She is co-supervised by Prof. Eli Zysman-Colman and Prof. Ifor Samuel and will work on improving the stability of MR-TADF based OLEDs. In her free time, Eglė likes cycling and anything even mildly related to it, exploring new places and reading.