Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Prof Denis Fichou

Professor, School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences

Phone: +65 65921806
Office: SPMS-PAP 04 09
Prof Denis Fichou

Dr. Denis Fichou is a Research Director at CNRS (1st class) and a Full 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. Following a first two-week visit in Singapore as early as 1978, D. Fichou came back to Singapore several times in the 80s and 90s to attend large conferences. He was invited to NTU for the first time in 2003 and has been a Visiting Professor at the School of Material Science & Engineering (MSE) up to 2012. He was in particular awarded a presidential Tcheng Tsang Man Chair for the period 2005-2008. From 2012 to 2015 he has been a Visiting Professor at the School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences (SPMS) and was appointed as a Full Professor in Chemistry and Material Science in 2016. Over his recent years at SPMS, D. Fichou established a new research laboratory focusing on "New Materials for Sustainable Energy" (Website:

In the late 80s D. Fichou has pioneered the then-emerging field of "organic electronics". In particular he is the co-inventor of the first organic field-effect transistor (OFET) on a flexible substrate (Advanced Materials 1990) thus opening "the era of flexible electronics". Since then, he has been developing new organic semiconductors based on small pi-conjugated molecules, in particular the oligothiophenes family. Over the last 30 years he investigated the transport and optical properties of these organic materials in thin film and single crystal devices. Today his research is oriented towards the design of novel efficient hole-transport materials such as the quinoidal dipyranylidenes analogs for solar cells applications. He also focuses on the growth and transport properties of several types of organic single crystals that he investigates in various device configurations. Besides, he is also developing new oxide-based photoelectrochemical systems (notably WO3, MoO2, and Cu2O) for conversion of light, water splitting and energy storage. He has published more than 200 articles in international journals such as Nature, Advanced Materials, ACS Nano, JACS, Angewandte Chemie, 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 2.500 citations). Finally, his publications in academic journals have received a total of over 11.700 citations (Google Scholar h-index=48).
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).
Current Projects
  • Development of a New Family of Electron Acceptor Materials based on the Buckybowl Motif
  • Organic and Hybrid Devices for Solar Energy Conversion
Selected Publications
  • S. Tang, X. Wang, Y. Zhang, M. Courté, H.J. Fan, and D. Fichou. (2019). Combining Co3S4 and Ni:Co3S4 nanowires as efficient catalysts for overall water splitting: an experimental and theoretical study. Nanoscale, 11, 2202–2210.
  • H. Jiang, P. Hu, J. Ye, A. Chaturvedi, K. K. Zhang, Y. Li, Y. Long, D. Fichou, C. Kloc, W. Hu. (2018). From Linear to Angular Isomers: Achieving Tunable Charge Transport in Single Crystal Indolocarbazoles via Delicate Synergetic CH/NH···pi Interactions. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 57(29), 8875-8880.
  • H. Jiang, P. Hu, J. Ye, R. Ganguly, Y. Li, Y. Long, D. Fichou, W. Hu, and C. Kloc. (2018). Mobility Modulation in Single Crystal Metal Phthalocyanines by Tuning the Metal-pi/pi-pi Interactions. Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 57(32), 10112-10117.
  • S. Tang, L. Yang, J. Liu, and D. Fichou. (2018). Carbon coated hierarchical porous MoO2 nanoflowers as high-performance anodes in lithium-ion batteries. Materials Research Bulletin, 102, 277–281.
  • C. Shen, M. Courté, A. Krishna, S.Tang, D. Fichou. (2017). Quinoidal 2,2',6,6'-Tetraphenyldipyranylidene as a Simple and Efficient Dopant-Free Hole Transporting Material for Stable and Cost-Effective Perovskite Solar Cells. Energy Technology, 5, 1852–1858.

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