The Soft Matter Physics Group at University of Potsdam

White light generation in our transient absorption setup
Photo: Jona Kurpiers
White light generation in our transient absorption setup

The research of the “Soft Matter Physics” group is concerned with understanding the physical processes in soft matter semiconductors, including organic and more recently organo-metallic perovskite semiconductors, and at their interfaces with inorganic semiconductors and metals.

Our particular focus is on the nature and dynamics of excitations and charges in these systems, with the goal of improving their performance in electronic and optoelectronic applications. The group has therefore installed a variety of transient techniques, designed to follow the fate of these excitations in functional devices on all relevant time scales, from sub-picoseconds through steady state. The group is particularly known for our time-delayed collection field setup, which is unique with regard to temporal resolution and sensitivity, but we also make use of various all-optical techniques including steady state and time resolved fluorescence spectroscopy and femtosecond transient absorption. The results of these measurements serve as inputs for extensive drift-diffusion simulations, and for the development of analytical models to describe the function of entire devices.

With this knowledge at hand, materials and device structures are further optimized, with the prospect to push the optoelectronic performance parameters beyond current limits.


A recent Progress Review of the group, published in Advanced Materials, deals with the understanding and suppression of interfacial non-radiative recombination in perovskite solar cells. The paper can be downloaded here free of charge (open access)

We congratulate Dieter Neher to be acknowledged on the "Highly Cited Researchers" list 2018!

The list recognizes scientists for their exceptional research perfomance demonstrated by publishing multiple highly cited papers. For more, click here.

The Soft Matter Physics group got recognized by the Perovskite-Info weekly newsletter with their recent achievement of record Voc in Sr-containing quadruple cation perovskite pin devices!

Former PwM member Steve Albrecht receives the Karl-Scheel-Preis. Congratulations to Steve!

Steve is currently the head of a Young Investigator Group at the HZB, and he has recently been appointed as W1-Professor at the TU Berlin. His focus of research is perovskite-based tandem solar cells, and we are conducting a successful collaboration with him on highly efficient perovskite solar cells.

Recent Publications

We employed bias-assisted charge extraction techniques to investigate the transient and steady-state recombination of photogenerated charge carriers in complete devices of a disordered polymer−fullerene blend. Charge recombination is shown to be dispersive, with a significant slowdown of the recombination rate over time, consistent with the results from kinetic Monte Carlo simulations. Read more here!

Power conversion efficiencies of donor/acceptor organic solar cells utilizing nonfullerene acceptors have now increased beyond the record of their fullerene-based counterparts.  Herein, we present a comparative study of bulk heterojunction solar cells composed of a recently introduced naphthothiadiazole-based polymer (NT812) as the electron donor and two different acceptor molecules, namely, [6,6]-phenyl-C71-butyric acid methyl ester (PCBM)[70] and 3,9-bis(2-methylene-(3-(1,1-dicyanomethylene)-indanone))-5,5,11,11tetrakis(4-hexylphenyl)-dithieno[2,3-d:2′,3′-d′]-s-indaceno[1,2-b:5,6-b′]dithiophene (ITIC). Read more here!