Assoc. Prof. Tan Zhi Kuang received his Bachelor of Science with a first class Honours in 2010 at the National University of Singapore, where he specialized in Chemistry and in Technology Entrepreneurship. He was next awarded with the Singapore National Research Foundation overseas scholarship and went on to pursue a PhD in Physics at the University of Cambridge.
During his PhD, Dr. Tan explored the physics of optoelectronic devices, with a focus on the heterojunction interfaces and architectures in solar cells and light-emitting diodes. Through his investigations, he discovered how the rational control of interfacial energetics at material heterojunctions could lead to significantly enhanced performance in organic solar cells. In 2014, he led the discovery of bright electroluminescence in a hybrid perovskite-based light-emitting diode, which gave rise to a publication in Nature Nanotechnology, as well as several patents.
Dr. Tan currently leads a research group in the Department of Chemistry at the National University of Singapore. His group aims to investigate and exploit the luminescent properties of perovskite semiconductors for commercial displays, lighting and optical communication applications.
In 2014, Dr. Tan and his team successfully demonstrated bright electroluminescence in new hybrid perovskites (Tan, Z.-K. et al., Nature Nanotechnology 9, 687), thereby opening up possibilities of their application in large-area colour displays and lighting. Their group aims to build on this initial success to achieve high-performance perovskite-based light-emitting diodes and photovoltaics through materials and device engineering as well as fundamental optical and structural investigations. As perovskite semiconductors possess low exciton binding energy, it is necessary to confine electronic charges within quantum dots or charge-wells for efficient exciton formation and radiative recombination. We chemically synthesize luminescent perovskite nanoparticles and nanorods, and work on surface defect passivation to enhance their luminescence yield. They analyse their new nanomaterials using advanced structural techniques such as x-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy and electron microscopy to investigate their crystallinity and polydispersity. They also use optical spectroscopic techniques to determine luminescence efficiency and spectral characteristics, which could provide clues towards defect density and the extent of exciton confinement. Successes in the development of this new material class could bring real commercial benefits towards the growing large-panel display industry.