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Materials Research Institute

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Dr Christian Nielsen

Materials Research Institute Research Fellow /
Leadership Team Member

Department School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
 Joseph Priestley Building - Room 1.08
Telephone +44 (0)20 7882 5902

Research Keywords

organic electronics, organic bioelectronics, semiconducting polymers, materials chemistry

Research Interests

My research is centred around the design and synthesis of new semiconducting materials for organic electronic and bioelectronic applications with the aim of elucidating important structure-property relations and providing new tailored materials to advance the understanding and performance of organic electronic and bioelectronic devices such as organic solar cells, field-effect transistors and biosensors.


Giovannitti A, Thorley KJ, Nielsen CB, Li J, Donahue MJ, Malliaras GG, Rivnay J and Mcculloch I (2018). Redox-Stability of Alkoxy-BDT Copolymers and their Use for Organic Bioelectronic Devices. Advanced Functional Materials  10.1002/adfm.201706325


Schott S, McNellis ER, Nielsen CB, Chen H-Y, Watanabe S, Tanaka H, McCulloch I, Takimiya K, Sinova J and Sirringhaus H (2017). Tuning the effective spin-orbit coupling in molecular semiconductors. Nat Commun  vol. 8, 15200-15200. 10.1038/ncomms15200

Neophytou M, Griffiths J, Fraser J, Kirkus M, Chen H, Nielsen CB and McCulloch I (2017). High mobility, hole transport materials for highly efficient PEDOT:PSS replacement in inverted perovskite solar cells. Journal of Materials Chemistry C  vol. 5, (20) 4940-4945. 10.1039/c7tc00858a

Spicer CD, Booth MA, Mawad D, Armgarth A, Nielsen CB and Stevens MM (2017). Synthesis of Hetero-bifunctional, End-Capped Oligo-EDOT Derivatives. Chem  vol. 2, (1) 125-138. 10.1016/j.chempr.2016.12.003

Qiu W, Bastos JP, Dasgupta S, Merckx T, Cardinaletti I, Jenart MVC, Nielsen CB, Gehlhaar R, Poortmans J, Heremans P, McCulloch I and Cheyns D (2017). Highly efficient perovskite solar cells with crosslinked PCBM interlayers. Journal of Materials Chemistry A  vol. 5, (6) 2466-2472. 10.1039/c6ta08799j


Giovannitti A, Sbircea D-T, Inal S, Nielsen CB, Bandiello E, Hanifi DA, Sessolo M, Malliaras GG, McCulloch I and Rivnay J (2016). Controlling the mode of operation of organic transistors through side-chain engineering. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A  vol. 113, (43) 12017-12022. 10.1073/pnas.1608780113

Knall AC, Ashraf RS, Nikolka M, Nielsen CB, Purushothaman B, Sadhanala A, Hurhangee M, Broch K, Harkin DJ, Novà k J, Neophytou M, Hayoz P, Sirringhaus H and McCulloch I (2016). Naphthacenodithiophene Based Polymers?New Members of the Acenodithiophene Family Exhibiting High Mobility and Power Conversion Efficiency. Advanced Functional Materials  vol. 26, (38) 6961-6969. 10.1002/adfm.201602285

Giovannitti A, Nielsen CB, Sbircea DT, Inal S, Donahue M, Niazi MR, Hanifi DA, Amassian A, Malliaras GG, Rivnay J and McCulloch I (2016). N-type organic electrochemical transistors with stability in water. Nature Publishing Group: Nature Communications  Nature Communications  vol. 7, 10.1038/ncomms13066

Rochford LA, Jones TS and Nielsen CB (2016). Epitaxial Templating of C60 with a Molecular Monolayer. American Chemical Society  Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters  vol. 7, (17) 3487-3490. 10.1021/acs.jpclett.6b01656

Nielsen CB, Giovannitti A, Sbircea D-T, Bandiello E, Niazi MR, Hanifi DA, Sessolo M, Amassian A, Malliaras GG, Rivnay J and McCulloch I (2016). Molecular Design of Semiconducting Polymers for High-Performance Organic Electrochemical Transistors. J Am Chem Soc  vol. 138, (32) 10252-10259. 10.1021/jacs.6b05280

Rochford LA, Ramadan AJ, Holliday S, Jones TS and Nielsen CB (2016). The effect of fluorination on the surface structure of truxenones. The Royal Society of Chemistry  Rsc Advances  vol. 6, (71) 67315-67318. 10.1039/c6ra14158g

Nielsen CB and Hammerum S (2016). Secondary kinetic deuterium isotope effects. The CC cleavage of labeled tetramethylethylenediamine radical cations-Who gets to keep the electron? International Journal of Mass Spectrometry  10.1016/j.ijms.2016.05.023

Guilbert AA, Zbiri M, Jenart MV, Nielsen CB and Nelson J (2016). New Insights into the Molecular Dynamics of P3HT:PCBM Bulk Heterojunction: A Time-of-Flight Quasi-Elastic Neutron Scattering Study. American Chemical Society  Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters  vol. 7, (12) 2252-2257. 10.1021/acs.jpclett.6b00537

Holliday S, Ashraf RS, Wadsworth A, Baran D, Yousaf SA, Nielsen CB, Tan CH, Dimitrov SD, Shang Z, Gasparini N, Alamoudi M, Laquai F, Brabec CJ, Salleo A, Durrant JR and McCulloch I (2016). High-efficiency and air-stable P3HT-based polymer solar cells with a new non-fullerene acceptor. Nature Publishing Group: Nature Communications  Nature Communications  vol. 7, 11585-11585. 10.1038/ncomms11585

Biniek L and Nielsen CB (2016). Organic photovoltaics: More than ever, an Interdisciplinary field. Polymers  vol. 8, (3) 10.3390/polym8030070

Giovannitti A, Nielsen CB, Rivnay J, Kirkus M, Harkin DJ, White AJP, Sirringhaus H, Malliaras GG and McCulloch I (2016). Sodium and Potassium Ion Selective Conjugated Polymers for Optical Ion Detection in Solution and Solid State. Advanced Functional Materials  vol. 26, (4) 514-523. 10.1002/adfm.201503791

Dimitrov SD, Schroeder BC, Nielsen CB, Bronstein H, Fei Z, McCulloch I, Heeney M and Durrant JR (2016). Singlet exciton lifetimes in conjugated polymer films for organic solar cells. Polymers  vol. 8, (1) 10.3390/polym8010014

Ramadan AJ, Nielsen CB, Holliday S, Jones TS, McCulloch I and Rochford LA (2016). Organic/inorganic epitaxy: Commensurate epitaxial growth of truxenone on Cu (111). Rsc Advances  vol. 6, (21) 17125-17128. 10.1039/c6ra01541g

Yue W, Nikolka M, Xiao M, Sadhanala A, Nielsen CB, White AJP, Chen HY, Onwubiko A, Sirringhaus H and McCulloch I (2016). Azaisoindigo conjugated polymers for high performance n-type and ambipolar thin film transistor applications. Journal of Materials Chemistry C  vol. 4, (41) 9704-9710. 10.1039/c6tc03000a


Nielsen CB, Holliday S, Chen H-Y, Cryer SJ and McCulloch I (2015). Non-fullerene electron acceptors for use in organic solar cells. Acc Chem Res  vol. 48, (11) 2803-2812. 10.1021/acs.accounts.5b00199

Yue W, Ashraf RS, Nielsen CB, Collado-Fregoso E, Niazi MR, Yousaf SA, Kirkus M, Chen H-Y, Amassian A, Durrant JR and McCulloch I (2015). A thieno[3,2-b][1]benzothiophene isoindigo building block for additive- and annealing-free high-performance polymer solar cells. Adv Mater  vol. 27, (32) 4702-4707. 10.1002/adma.201501841

Schroeder BC, Kirkus M, Nielsen CB, Ashraf RS and McCulloch I (2015). Dithienosilolothiophene: A New Polyfused Donor for Organic Electronics. Macromolecules  vol. 48, (16) 5557-5562. 10.1021/acs.macromol.5b00941

Nielsen CB, White AJP and McCulloch I (2015). Effect of fluorination of 2,1,3-benzothiadiazole. J Org Chem  vol. 80, (10) 5045-5048. 10.1021/acs.joc.5b00430

Nielsen CB, Ashraf RS, Treat ND, Schroeder BC, Donaghey JE, White AJP, Stingelin N and McCulloch I (2015). 2,1,3-Benzothiadiazole-5,6-dicarboxylic imide--a versatile building block for additive- and annealing-free processing of organic solar cells with efficiencies exceeding 8%. Adv Mater  vol. 27, (5) 948-953. 10.1002/adma.201404858

Ashraf RS, Meager I, Nikolka M, Kirkus M, Planells M, Schroeder BC, Holliday S, Hurhangee M, Nielsen CB, Sirringhaus H and McCulloch I (2015). Chalcogenophene comonomer comparison in small band gap diketopyrrolopyrrole-based conjugated polymers for high-performing field-effect transistors and organic solar cells. J Am Chem Soc  vol. 137, (3) 1314-1321. 10.1021/ja511984q

Holliday S, Ashraf RS, Nielsen CB, Kirkus M, Röhr JA, Tan C-H, Collado-Fregoso E, Knall A-C, Durrant JR, Nelson J and McCulloch I (2015). A rhodanine flanked nonfullerene acceptor for solution-processed organic photovoltaics. J Am Chem Soc  vol. 137, (2) 898-904. 10.1021/ja5110602

Qiu W, Paetzold UW, Gehlhaar R, Smirnov V, Boyen HG, Tait JG, Conings B, Zhang W, Nielsen CB, McCulloch I, Froyen L, Heremans P and Cheyns D (2015). An electron beam evaporated TiO2 layer for high efficiency planar perovskite solar cells on flexible polyethylene terephthalate substrates. Journal of Materials Chemistry A  vol. 3, (45) 22824-22829. 10.1039/c5ta07515g

Rumer JW, Ashraf RS, Eisenmenger ND, Huang Z, Meager I, Nielsen CB, Schroeder BC, Chabinyc ML and McCulloch I (2015). Dual function additives: A small molecule crosslinker for enhanced efficiency and stability in organic solar cells. Advanced Energy Materials  vol. 5, (9) 10.1002/aenm.201401426

Schroeder BC, Nielsen CB, Westacott P, Smith J, Rossbauer S, Anthopoulos TD, Stingelin N and McCulloch I (2015). Effects of alkyl chain positioning on conjugated polymer microstructure and field-effect mobilities. Mrs Communications  vol. 5, (3) 435-440. 10.1557/mrc.2015.49


Meager I, Nikolka M, Schroeder BC, Nielsen CB, Planells M, Bronstein H, Rumer JW, James DI, Ashraf RS, Sadhanala A, Hayoz P, Flores JC, Sirringhaus H and McCulloch I (2014). Thieno[3,2-b]thiophene flanked isoindigo polymers for high performance ambipolar OFET applications. Advanced Functional Materials  vol. 24, (45) 7109-7115. 10.1002/adfm.201402307

Meager I, Ashraf RS, Nielsen CB, Donaghey JE, Huang Z, Bronstein H, Durrant JR and McCulloch I (2014). Power conversion efficiency enhancement in diketopyrrolopyrrole based solar cells through polymer fractionation. Journal of Materials Chemistry C  vol. 2, (40) 8593-8598. 10.1039/c4tc01594k

Nielsen CB, Voroshazi E, Holliday S, Cnops K, Cheyns D and McCulloch I (2014). Electron-deficient truxenone derivatives and their use in organic photovoltaics. Journal of Materials Chemistry A  vol. 2, (31) 12348-12354. 10.1039/c4ta01653j

Rumer JW, Schroeder BC, Nielsen CB, Ashraf RS, Beatrup D, Bronstein H, Cryer SJ, Donaghey JE, Holliday S, Hurhangee M, James DI, Lim S, Meager I, Zhang W and McCulloch I (2014). Bis-lactam-based donor polymers for organic solar cells: Evolution by design. Thin Solid Films  vol. 560, 82-85. 10.1016/j.tsf.2013.10.089

Schroeder BC, Rossbauer S, Kline RJ, Biniek L, Watkins SE, Anthopoulos TD, McCulloch I and Nielsen CB (2014). Benzotrithiophene copolymers: Influence of molecular packing and energy levels on charge carrier mobility. Macromolecules  vol. 47, (9) 2883-2890. 10.1021/ma500163u

Dimitrov SD, Huang Z, Deledalle F, Nielsen CB, Schroeder BC, Ashraf RS, Shoaee S, McCulloch I and Durrant JR (2014). Towards optimisation of photocurrent from fullerene excitons in organic solar cells. Energy and Environmental Science  vol. 7, (3) 1037-1043. 10.1039/c3ee42607f


Nielsen CB and McCulloch I (2013). Recent advances in transistor performance of polythiophenes. Progress in Polymer Science  vol. 38, (12) 2053-2069. 10.1016/j.progpolymsci.2013.05.003

Nielsen CB, Ashraf RS, Rossbauer S, Anthopoulos T and McCulloch I (2013). Post-polymerization ketalization for improved organic photovoltaic materials. Macromolecules  vol. 46, (19) 7727-7732. 10.1021/ma401474a

Nielsen CB, Turbiez M and McCulloch I (2013). Recent advances in the development of semiconducting DPP-containing polymers for transistor applications. Adv Mater  vol. 25, (13) 1859-1880. 10.1002/adma.201201795

Bansal N, Reynolds LX, MacLachlan A, Lutz T, Ashraf RS, Zhang W, Nielsen CB, McCulloch I, Rebois DG, Kirchartz T, Hill MS, Molloy KC, Nelson J and Haque SA (2013). Influence of crystallinity and energetics on charge separation in polymer-inorganic nanocomposite films for solar cells. Sci Rep  vol. 3, 1531-1531. 10.1038/srep01531

Nielsen CB, Sohn E-H, Cho D-J, Schroeder BC, Smith J, Lee M, Anthopoulos TD, Song K and McCulloch I (2013). Improved field-effect transistor performance of a benzotrithiophene polymer through ketal cleavage in the solid state. Acs Appl Mater Interfaces  vol. 5, (5) 1806-1810. 10.1021/am303138q

Zhong H, Li Z, Deledalle F, Fregoso EC, Shahid M, Fei Z, Nielsen CB, Yaacobi-Gross N, Rossbauer S, Anthopoulos TD, Durrant JR and Heeney M (2013). Fused dithienogermolodithiophene low band gap polymers for high-performance organic solar cells without processing additives. J Am Chem Soc  vol. 135, (6) 2040-2043. 10.1021/ja311700u

Bronstein H, Frost JM, Hadipour A, Kim Y, Nielsen CB, Ashraf RS, Rand BP, Watkins S and McCulloch I (2013). Effect of fluorination on the properties of a donor-acceptor copolymer for use in photovoltaic cells and transistors. Chemistry of Materials  vol. 25, (3) 277-285. 10.1021/cm301910t

Biniek L, Schroeder BC, Donaghey JE, Yaacobi-Gross N, Ashraf RS, Soon YW, Nielsen CB, Durrant JR, Anthopoulos TD and McCulloch I (2013). New fused bis-thienobenzothienothiophene copolymers and their use in organic solar cells and transistors. Macromolecules  vol. 46, (3) 727-735. 10.1021/ma302390z

Nielsen CB, Voroshazi E, Holliday S, Cnops K, Rand BP and McCulloch I (2013). Efficient truxenone-based acceptors for organic photovoltaics. Journal of Materials Chemistry A  vol. 1, (1) 73-76. 10.1039/c2ta00548d

Bakulin AA, Dimitrov SD, Rao A, Chow PCY, Nielsen CB, Schroeder BC, McCulloch I, Bakker HJ, Durrant JR and Friend RH (2013). Charge-Transfer State Dynamics Following Hole and Electron Transfer in Organic Photovoltaic Devices. J Phys Chem Lett  vol. 4, (1) 209-215. 10.1021/jz301883y


Dimitrov SD, Bakulin AA, Nielsen CB, Schroeder BC, Du J, Bronstein H, McCulloch I, Friend RH and Durrant JR (2012). On the energetic dependence of charge separation in low-band-gap polymer/fullerene blends. J Am Chem Soc  vol. 134, (44) 18189-18192. 10.1021/ja308177d

Biniek L, Schroeder BC, Nielsen CB and McCulloch I (2012). Recent advances in high mobility donor-acceptor semiconducting polymers. Journal of Materials Chemistry  vol. 22, (30) 14803-14813. 10.1039/c2jm31943h

Schroeder BC, Ashraf RS, Thomas S, White AJP, Biniek L, Nielsen CB, Zhang W, Huang Z, Tuladhar PS, Watkins SE, Anthopoulos TD, Durrant JR and McCulloch I (2012). Synthesis of novel thieno[3,2-b]thienobis(silolothiophene) based low bandgap polymers for organic photovoltaics. Chem Commun (Camb)  vol. 48, (62) 7699-7701. 10.1039/c2cc33718e

Nielsen CB, Ashraf RS, Schroeder BC, D'Angelo P, Watkins SE, Song K, Anthopoulos TD and McCulloch I (2012). Random benzotrithiophene-based donor-acceptor copolymers for efficient organic photovoltaic devices. Chem Commun (Camb)  vol. 48, (47) 5832-5834. 10.1039/c2cc31934a

McCulloch I, Ashraf RS, Biniek L, Bronstein H, Combe C, Donaghey JE, James DI, Nielsen CB, Schroeder BC and Zhang W (2012). Design of semiconducting indacenodithiophene polymers for high performance transistors and solar cells. Acc Chem Res  vol. 45, (5) 714-722. 10.1021/ar200208g

Kirkpatrick J, Nielsen CB, Zhang W, Bronstein H, Ashraf RS, Heeney M and McCulloch I (2012). A systematic approach to the design optimization of light-absorbing indenofluorene polymers for organic photovoltaics. Advanced Energy Materials  vol. 2, (2) 260-265. 10.1002/aenm.201100622

Dimitrov SD, Nielsen CB, Shoaee S, Shakya Tuladhar P, Du J, McCulloch I and Durrant JR (2012). Efficient charge photogeneration by the dissociation of PC70BM excitons in polymer/fullerene solar cells. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters  vol. 3, (1) 140-144. 10.1021/jz201484b


Donaghey JE, Ashraf RS, Kim Y, Huang ZG, Nielsen CB, Zhang W, Schroeder B, Grenier CRG, Brown CT, D'Angelo P, Smith J, Watkins S, Song K, Anthopoulos TD, Durrant JR, Williams CK and McCulloch I (2011). Pyrroloindacenodithiophene containing polymers for organic field effect transistors and organic photovoltaics. Journal of Materials Chemistry  vol. 21, (46) 18744-18752. 10.1039/c1jm13428k

Nielsen CB, Schroeder BC, Hadipour A, Rand BP, Watkins SE and McCulloch I (2011). A benzotrithiophene-based low band gap polymer for polymer solar cells with high open-circuit voltage. Journal of Materials Chemistry  vol. 21, (44) 17642-17645. 10.1039/c1jm13393d

Schroeder BC, Nielsen CB, Kim YJ, Smith J, Huang Z, Durrant J, Watkins SE, Song K, Anthopoulos TD and McCulloch I (2011). Benzotrithiophene Co-polymers with high charge carrier mobilities in field-effect transistors. Chemistry of Materials  vol. 23, (17) 4025-4031. 10.1021/cm2015884

Nielsen CB, Fraser JM, Schroeder BC, Du J, White AJP, Zhang W and McCulloch I (2011). Benzotrithiophene--a planar, electron-rich building block for organic semiconductors. Org Lett  vol. 13, (9) 2414-2417. 10.1021/ol200643z

Mavrinskiy A, Nielsen CB, Reynolds JR, Müllen K and Pisula W (2011). Influence of the alkyl mantle on the self-assembly of phenylene-thienylene- based oligomers. Chemistry of Materials  vol. 23, (7) 1939-1945. 10.1021/cm1036716


Tuladhar SM, Sims M, Choulis SA, Nielsen CB, George WN, Steinke JHG, Bradley DDC and Nelson J (2009). Influence of side chain symmetry on the performance of poly(2,5-dialkoxy-p-phenylenevinylene): fullerene blend solar cells. Organic Electronics: Physics, Materials, Applications  vol. 10, (4) 562-567. 10.1016/j.orgel.2009.02.008

Tuladhar SM, Sims M, Kirkpatrick J, Maher RC, Chatten AJ, Bradley DDC, Nelson J, Etchegoin PG, Nielsen CB, Massiot P, George WN and Steinke JHG (2009). Influence of alkyl chain length on charge transport in symmetrically substituted poly(2,5-dialkoxy-p-phenylenevinylene) polymers. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics  vol. 79, (3) 10.1103/PhysRevB.79.035201


Nielsen CB, Angerhofer A, Abboud KA and Reynolds JR (2008). Discrete photopatternable pi-conjugated oligomers for electrochromic devices. J Am Chem Soc  vol. 130, (30) 9734-9746. 10.1021/ja7112273


Sims M, Tuladhar SM, Nelson J, Maher RC, Campoy-Quiles M, Choulis SA, Mairy M, Bradley DDC, Etchegoin PG, Tregidgo C, Suhling K, Richards DR, Massiot P, Nielsen CB and Steinke JHG (2007). Correlation between microstructure and charge transport in poly(2,5-dimethoxy- p -phenylenevinylene) thin films. Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics  vol. 76, (19) 10.1103/PhysRevB.76.195206


Nielsen CB and Bjørnholm T (2005). Structure-property relations of regiosymmetrical 3,4-dioxy-functionalized polythiophenes. Macromolecules  vol. 38, (25) 10379-10387. 10.1021/ma051609t


Nielsen CB and Bjørnholm T (2004). New regiosymmetrical dioxopyrrolo- and dihydropyrrolo-functionalized polythiophenes. Org Lett  vol. 6, (19) 3381-3384. 10.1021/ol048659n

Laursen BW, Nørgaard K, Reitzel N, Simonsen JB, Nielsen CB, Als-Nielsen J, Bjørnholm T, Sølling TI, Nielsen MM, Bunk O, Kjaer K, Tchebotareva N, Watson MD, Müllen K and Piris J (2004). Macroscopic alignment of graphene stacks by Langmuir-Blodgett deposition of amphiphilic hexabenzocoronenes. Langmuir  vol. 20, (10) 4139-4146. 10.1021/la049944i



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