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Department of Physics

Cavendish Laboratory

Studying at Cambridge


Dr Akshay Rao

Dr Akshay Rao

EPSRC Early Career Fellow

Winton Advanced Research Fellow

K28, Kapitza Building,
Cavendish Laboratory
JJ Thomson Avenue

Cambridge CB3 0HE
Office Phone: (0) 12233 747364


Akshay received his undergraduate degree from St Stephen’s College, University of Delhi in 2006 and his MSc from the University of Sheffield in 2007. He received his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 2011, working in the group of Prof. Sir Richard Friend. From 2011 to 2014 he held a Junior Research Fellowship at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. As of October 2014 he runs an independent research group at the University of Cambridge and is an EPSRC Early Career Fellow & Winton Advanced Research Fellow.

Research groups


Research Interests

Akshay's research is focussed on the electronic and optical properties of molecular semiconductors, quantum dots and novel nanoscale structures. He has worked extensively on organic photovoltaics as well as singlet exciton fission in molecular semiconductors, using ultrafast spectroscopy to elucidate the how charge delocalisation, spin and vibrational coherence underlie the physics of these systems. His group is currently interested in areas such as solar energy harvesting in photovoltaics and artificial photosynthetic complexes, molecular spintronics and the photophysics of novel nanoscale semiconductor materials.

Key Publications

1) “Resonant Energy Transfer of Triplet Excitons from Pentacene to PbSe   Nanocrystals”, Maxim Tabachnyk, Bruno Ehrler, Simon Gélinas, Marcus L. Böhm, Brian J. Walker, Kevin P. Musselman, Neil C. Greenham, Richard H. Friend and Akshay Rao. Nature Materials, DOI: 10.1038/NMAT4093 (2014). 

2) “Ultrafast Long-Range Charge Separation in Organic Semiconductor Photovoltaic Diodes”, Simon Gélinas­, Akshay Rao, Abhishek Kumar, Samuel L. Smith, Alex W. Chin, Jenny Clark, Tom S. van der Poll, Guillermo C. Bazan, Richard H. Friend, Science, 343, 6170, 512-516, (2014).

3) “The Role of Spin for Kinetic Control of Recombination in Organic Photovoltaics”, Akshay Rao, Philip C.Y. Chow, Simon Gélinas, Cody W. Schlenker, Chang-Zhi Li, Hin-Lap Yip, Alex K-Y. Jen, David S. Ginger, Richard H. Friend, Nature, 500 (7463), 435-439, (2013).

4) “Unequal Partnership: Asymmetric Roles of Polymeric Donor and Fullerene Acceptor in Generating Free Charge” Brett M. Savoie, Akshay Rao, Artem A. Bakulin, Simon Gelinas, Bijan Movaghar, Richard H. Friend, Tobin J. Marks, Mark A. Ratner. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 136 (7), 2876–2884, (2014) .

5) “The Role of Driving Energy and Delocalised States for Charge Separation in Organic Semiconductors”, Artem A. Bakulin, Akshay Rao, Vlad G. Pavelyev, Dorota Niedzialek, Jérôme Cornil, David Beljonne, Paul H.M. van Loosdrecht, Maxim S. Pshenichnikov, Richard H. Friend, Science, 335, 6074, 1340-1344, (2012).