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You are here: FRIAS School of Soft Matter … Fellows Ullrich Steiner

Ullrich Steiner

External Senior Fellow August 2009 - July 2010

Professor, Soft Matter Physics

Adolphe Merkle Institute
Chemin des Verdiers
CH-1700 Fribourg
Room B323
Phone +41 26 300 9503
Fax +44 (0)1223 337000


Ullrich Steiner is the John Humphrey Plummer Professor of the Physics of Materials at the Cavendsh Laboratory, Department of Physics of University of Cambridge. He is a fellow of St. Edmunds College, Cambridge and a fellow the Royal Society of Chemistry. In 2002, Hhe was awarded the 2002 Raymond and Beverley Sackler Prize in the Physics Sciences. He is the current Chairman of the Editorial Board of the RSC journal “Soft Matter”. His areas of research include the physics of pattern formation on surfaces and in thin films, the properties of polymer in confinement, the synthesis of inorganic materials in self-assembled organic templates, the control of the nanometer morphologies in organic and dyes sensitised solar cells, and biomimetic formation of sub-micrometre morphologies. Ullrich Steiner studied physics at the University of Konstanz and at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. He completed his Diploma in 1989 and his Doctorate in 1993 (Prof. Jacob Klein, Prof. Günter Schatz). After post-doctoral positions at the Weizmann Institute and at the Institut Charles Sadron, Strasbourg, her returned to the University of Konstanz for a group leader position in the Department of Physics. He received his habilitation in 1999, and became the Professor of Polymer Chemistry (chair) at the Department of Polymer Chemistry and Materials Science Centre of the University of Groningen. In 2004 he moved to the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge.

FRIAS Project

The influence of molecular order on charge transport in conjugated polymers.

π–conjugated polymers are promising materials for the development of organic electronic technology such as transistors in logic circuits, light emitting diodes, and photovoltaic cells. High-performance opto-electronic properties can be achieved via comparatively simple solution-based processing. There, specific interactions between these macromolecules give rise to organization on the molecular scale. Simultaneously, a manifold of mesoscopic morphologies is found in the solid-state upon crystallisation and assembly processes or via the deposition of aggregates existing already in solution. The central goal of this pro ject is to unravel key mechanisms which correlate the overall degree of molecular order and specific mesoscale morphologies with the performance characteristics of derived devices.

Selected Publications

  1. E.J. Crossland, K.Tremel, F. Fischer, K. Rahimi, G. Reiter, U. Steiner, S. Ludwigs: Anisotropic Charge Transport in Spherulitic Poly(3-hexylthiophene) Films. Adv Mater, 2012; 24 (6): 839-844.
  2. "Floral iridescence, produced by diffractive optics, acts as a cue for animal pollinators". H.M. Whitney, M. Kolle, P. Andrew, L. Chittka, U. Steiner, B.J. Glover, Science, 2009, 323. (DOI: 10.1126/science.1166256)
  3. "A Bicontinuous Double Gyroid Hybrid Solar Cell". E. J. W. Crossland, M. Kamperman, M. Nedelcu, C. Ducati, U. Wiesner, D.-M. Smilgies, G. E. S. Toombes, M. A. Hillmyer, S. Ludwigs, U. Steiner, H. J. Snaith, Nano Letters (2009) DOI: 10.1021/nl803174p
  4. "Bioinspired Polymer–Inorganic Hybrid Materials". S. Ludwigs, U. Steiner, A. N. Kulak, R. Lam, F. C. Meldrum, Advanced Materials 2006, 18, 2270–2273.
  5. "Molecular forces caused by the confinement of thermal noise". M.D. Morariu, E. Schäffer, U. Steiner, Physical Review Letters, 2004, 92, 156102.
  6. "Hierarchical structure formation and pattern replication induced by an electric field." Nature Materials, 2003, 2, 48-52.
  7. "Electrically induced structure formation and pattern transfer". E Schaffer, T Thurn-Albrecht, TP Russell, U Steiner, Nature, 2000, 403, 874-877.
  8. "Nanophase-separated polymer films as high-performance antireflection coatings". S Walheim, E Schaffer, J Mlynek, U Steiner, Science, 1999, 283, 520-522. 8. "Surface-induced structure formation of polymer blends on patterned substrates". M Böltau, S Walheim, J Mlynek, G Krausch, U Steiner, Nature, 1998, 391, 877-879.