Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Prof Denis Fichou

Division of Physics & Applied Physics
School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences
College of Science

Phone: (+65)65921806
Office: SPMS-PAP-04-09

  • Doctorat d'Etat (Physical Sciences) Pierre et Marie Curie University, Paris 1986
  • PhD (Chemistry) Rennes University 1981
Dr. Denis Fichou is a Research Director at CNRS (1st class) and a Professor at NTU, Singapore. He is the current Head of the Organic Nanostructures and Semiconductors laboratory that he founded in 2001 at Pierre et Marie Curie University, Paris, France. From 2005 to 2015, D. Fichou has been a Visiting Professor at NTU including a Tcheng Tsang Man Chair at the School of Material Science & Engineering in 2005-2008. He is now at the School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences where he setup a research lab to develop novel organic and hybrid solar cells. In the late 80s D. Fichou has pioneered organic electronics. In particular he is the co-inventor of the first organic transistor on a flexible substrate (Adv Mater 1990). Since then, he has been developing organic semiconductors and devices, in particular the oligothiophenes family. Today his research is oriented towards the design of organic and hybrid photovoltaic solar cells as well as new oxide-based photoelectrochemical systems for water splitting and energy storage. He has published more than 190 articles in international journals such as Nature, Advanced Materials, ACS Nano, JACS, etc. Besides, he is the holder of 10 patents and the editor and author of several books including the successful Handbook of Oligo & Polythiophenes (Wiley-VCH, over 2.200 citations). Finally, his publications in academic journals have received a total of over 10.100 citations (h-index=43, Google Scholar).
Research Interests
Our present research aims at conceiving novel materials, either organic or inorganic in nature, in view of energy applications such as sunlight conversion and storage.

1. Organic and hybrid photovoltaic cells

We design and synthetize novel small organic molecules having an extended pi-electron system and use them either as active materials (p- or n-type semiconductors) or as interfacial layers in thin film solar cells. We recently developed series of molecules such as for example dipyrranylidenes and organo-cobalt complexes, that we used to fabricate efficient photovoltaic solar cells.

2. Oxide-based photoelectrochemical systems

We aim at converting efficiently sunlight into clean and readily usable fuels such as hydrogen or methane on a large scale. One of the most promising technologies consists in splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen through solar irradiation of semiconductor-based devices. We recently designed various efficient PEC systems based on either WO3, Cu2O, or BiVO4 among others, and used them under sunlight illumination to produce hydrogen.

3. Supramolecular self-assemblies on surfaces

The self-assembly of organic molecules on solid surfaces provides a versatile route towards functional 2D arrays in view of energy, catalytic and magnetic applications. Our group develops unique supramolecular architectures by controlling the size and shape of the molecular bricks. We then observe and manipulate the assemblies at the atomic/molecular scale by means of scanning tunneling microscopy (STM).
Research Grant
  • Academic Research Fund Tier 2 (2014-)
  • Start Up Grant (2016-) [by Nanyang Technological University]
Current Projects
  • Hybrid Solar Cells Using Non-Toxic Organic Hole-Transporting Photosensitizers
  • Organic and Hybrid Devices for Solar Energy Conversion
Selected Publications
  • M. Courté, M. Alaaeddine, V. Barth, L. Tortech and D. Fichou. (2017). Structural and electronic properties of 2,2’,6,6’-tetraphenyl-dipyranylidene and its use as a hole-collecting interfacial layer in organic solar cells. Dyes and Pigments, 141, 487-492.
  • M. Courté, S. G. Surya, R. Thamankar, V. Ramgopal Rao, S. G. Mhaisalkar, D. Fichou. (2017). Observation of a non-volatile memory effect in 2,2’,6,6’-tetraphenyldipyranylidene thin films revealed in field-effect transistors and by conductive atomic force microscopy. RSC Advances, 7, 3336–3342.
  • H. Qi, J. Wolfe, D. Fichou and Z. Chen. (2016). Cu2O photocathode for low bias photoelectrochemical water splitting enabled by NiFe-layered double hydroxide co-catalyst. Scientific Reports, 6, 30882.
  • C. Shen, D. Fichou, and Q. Wang. (2016). Interfacial engineering for quantum dot-sensitized solar cells. Chemistry - An Asian Journal, 11(8), 1183-1193.
  • H. Qi, J. Wolfe, D. Wang, H. J. Fan, D. Fichou, and Z. Chen. (2014). Triple-layer nanostructured WO3 photoanodes with enhanced photocurrent generation and superior stability for photoelectrochemical solar energy conversion. Nanoscale, 6, 13457.

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