Prof William Gillin

Prof William Gillin

Professor of Experimental Physics
School of Physics and Astronomy
Queen Mary, University of London
327 Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS

Telephone: 020 7882 5798
Room: G O Jones 121

My research interests

William Gillin works primarily on the electrical and optical properties of organic materials. He currently has two main areas of research. Organic optical amplifiers based on lanthanide containing molecules and organic spintronics.

Lanthanide ions, such as erbium, are widely used in optical amplifiers and lasers due to their long intrinsic lifetime which makes population inversion possible. However, this same property means that they are very poor at absorbing light so powerful pump sources, such as lasers, are required to make optical amplifiers work. By incorporating the ion into an organic host it is possible to excite the organic directly and then transfer the energy directly to the lanthanide ion; this is called sensitization. Using this approach it may be possible to replace the high power pump laser with low cost LEDs. We have developed novel fluorinated organic molecules that allow us to produce materials where the quantum efficiency of the erbium ions is >50% and which exhibit sensitization of a factor of >10000. Using this approach we have demonstrated population inversion for the erbium ions in an organic layer deposited onto silicon when optically pumped from a low power (~3mW) light source. This opens the possibility of building optical amplifiers and lasers directly onto silicon substrates.

Organic spintronics is the control and manipulation of electronic spin on individual organic molecules within an organic electronic device. This technology can, for example, be used to produce devices that are highly sensitive to weak magnetic fields. We have a programme that works on producing organic spinvalves and understanding spin injection and extraction in these devices and the role of interfacial layers on controlling those processes. We also work on understanding the spin interactions that occur within devices such as organic light emitting diodes and organic photovoltaic cells. Controlling these processes is vital to improving device performance as many of the quenching mechanisms are highly spin dependent.

Centre for Advanced Materials for Integrated Energy Systems, EPSRC, 2016-2020, £2.1M

Silicon Photonics for Future Systems, W.P. Gillin, EPSRC, 2015-16, £49K

Overseas Travel Grant, W.P. Gillin, EPSRC, 2014-16, £71K

Organic optical Interconnects, W.P. Gillin, Proof of Concept fund, 2013-14, £50K

Next Generation Hybrid Interfaces for Spintronic Applications (HINTS), A.J. Drew and W.P. Gillin, EU, (QMUL £301K), 2011-14, €3.87M.

Controlling spin injection interfaces in organic spinvalves, W.P. Gillin, Royal Academy of Engineering Research Exchange, 2012-13, £8K.

EPSRC, Global Engagement: Growing sustainable research collaborations with China, J. Kilburn, W.P. Gillin, L. Cuthbert, X. Chen, S. Uhlig, A. Cavallaro, E. Welch, 2012-13, £500K.

EPSRC KTA, A low cost replacement for indium tin oxide for smartphone displays, W.P. Gillin, 2011-12, £90K.


Download the current version of CV (PDF)

This is not an exhaustive list and I would be happy to discuss other project possibilities.


Selected publications

Solution-Processable Carbon Nanoelectrodes for Single-Molecule Investigations.
Zhu J, McMorrow J, Crespo-Otero R et al.
J Am Chem Soc, Volume 138, issue 9, page 2905, 9th March 2016.
DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b12086

Organo-erbium systems for optical amplification at telecommunications wavelengths
Ye HQ, Li Z, Peng Y et al.
Nature Materials, Volume 13, issue April 2014, page 382, 1st January 2014.
DOI: 10.1038/NMAT3910

Engineering spin propagation across a hybrid organic/inorganic interface using a polar layer.
Schulz L, Nuccio L, Willis M et al.
Nat Mater, Volume 10, issue 1, page 39, 1st January 2011.
DOI: 10.1038/nmat2912

Determining the influence of excited states on current transport in organic light emitting diodes using magnetic field perturbation
Gillin WP, Zhang SJ, Rolfe NJ et al.
PHYS REV B, Volume 82, issue 19, 23rd November 2010.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.82.195208

Effect of excited states and applied magnetic fields on the measured hole mobility in an organic semiconductor
Song JY, Stingelin N, Drew AJ et al.
PHYS REV B, Volume 82, issue 8, 20th August 2010.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.82.085205

Direct measurement of the electronic spin diffusion length in a fully functional organic spin valve by low-energy muon spin rotation
Drew AJ, Hoppler J, Schulz L et al.
NAT MATER, Volume 8, issue 2, page 109, 1st February 2009.
DOI: 10.1038/NMAT2333

Magnetoresistance and efficiency measurements of Alq(3)-based OLEDs
Desai P, Shakya P, Kreouzis T et al.
PHYS REV B, Volume 75, issue 9, 1st March 2007.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.75.094423