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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/P033253/2
Title: Multi-Scale Framework for Quantum Mechanical Simulations of Organic Electronics
Principal Investigator: Ratcliff, Dr LE
Other Investigators:
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Commissioner for Atomic Energy CEA Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) University of Mons
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Bristol
Scheme: EPSRC Fellowship
Starts: 05 January 2022 Ends: 31 August 2024 Value (£): 176,268
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Condensed Matter Physics Materials Characterisation
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
This project will create software which will help to improve electronic devices which are based on organic materials, that is materials which contain carbon rather than silicon. Organic-based materials have a number of useful properties: they are inexpensive to make, are light in weight, and are very flexible, which means they can be used to make bendy devices. Because of these properties, they are very appealing for use in electronic devices such as organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) and solar cells. This project will particularly focus on OLEDs, which are used in smartphones and TVs, but there are also many potential new applications where traditional materials could not be used. As a result, organic electronics may in future be used in a range of new technologies, from artificial skin to bendy smartphones to wearable electronics. However, in order to achieve these new applications, a number of improvements need to made in areas such as efficiency and the lifetime of devices, that is how long they last without breaking down.

Using computer modelling, we will be able to better understand the molecules which are used for electronics and how they work within different devices. If we can better understand how the factors like the choice of different molecules affect the performance of these devices, we will be able to improve how they work and develop new technologies such as those described above. However, these devices are very challenging to simulate, in part because the systems contain many thousands of atoms. Even if we use supercomputers, which might contain many thousands of computer cores running together, such calculations would take so long to run that it would be completely impractical.

In this project, we will therefore develop new methods which can model very large systems in a reasonable time. The methods which will be implemented in this software do not require any input from experiments, which means the software could also eventually be used to make predictions, and therefore to potentially discover new materials. In order for the software to be truly predictive, however, it needs to be able to give very accurate results. All of the methods used contain some approximations since exact calculations on such materials are impossible, therefore we will also work to reduce the impact of these approximations by developing techniques which have a high accuracy. The final software will be freely available to researchers across the world, will efficiently run on supercomputers, and will also be useful for applications outside of the field of organic electronics which require simulations containing thousands of atoms.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Organisation Website: http://www.bris.ac.uk