Thuc-Quyen Nguyen


Contact Phone

(805) 893-4851

Office Location

Chem 3122



Dr. Nguyen received her AA degree from Santa Monica College in 1995. Then she transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles in Fall 1995 where she received her B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in physical chemistry in 1997, 1998, and 2001, respectively. She was a research associate in the Department of Chemistry and the Nanocenter at Columbia University working with Professors Louis Brus and Colin Nuckolls on molecular self-assembly, nanoscale characterization and devices. She also spent time at IBM Research Center at T. J. Watson (Yorktown Heights, NY) working with Richard Martel and Phaedon Avouris on molecular electronics. She joined the faculty of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department at UCSB in summer 2004. 


Recognition for her research includes:

  • 2005 Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award
  • 2006 National Science Foundation CAREER Award
  • 2008 Camille Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award
  • 2009 Alfred Sloan Research Fellows
  • 2010 National Science Foundation American Competitiveness and Innovation Fellows
  • 2015 Alexander von Humboldt Senior Research Award
  • 2016 Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry
  • 2019 Hall of Fame - Advanced Materials
  • 2019 Beaufort Visiting Scholar, St John’s College, Cambridge University
  • 2015-2019 World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds; Top 1% Highly Cited Researchers in Materials Science by Thomson Reuters and Clarivate Analytics
  • 2019 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
  • 2023 Wilhelm Exner Medal, 2023 Elected Member of the National Academy of Engineering
  • 2023 de Gennes Prize in Materials Chemistry, the Royal Society of Chemistry


Research Group Website:

Research Objective

Her research interests are doping and charge transport in organic semiconductors, bioelectronics, and deviec physics of organic solar cells, ratchets, transistors, and photodetectors.


For a complete list of publications: Google Scholar

Selected Publications

1. “Control of Solution Aggregation, Solid State Fluorescence Quantum Yield, and Charge Transport in Cationic Conjugated Polyelectrolytes by Choice of Anion,” R. Yang, A. Garcia, D. Korystov, A. Mikhailovsky, G. C. Bazan*, and T.-Q. Nguyen*, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2006, 128, 16532-16539.  DOI: 10.1021/ja0611341

2. “Enhanced Conjugated Polymer Photodetectors and Solar Cells by Improved Solution Processing,” J. Peet, C. Soci, R. Coffin, T.-Q. Nguyen, A. Mikhailovsky, D. Moses, G. C. Bazan*, Appl. Phys. Lett. 2006, 89, 252105-252107.  DOI: 10.1063/1.2408661   

3. “Efficient Polymer Solar Cells in the Tandem Architecture,” J. Y. Kim, N. E. Coates, M. Dante, D. Moses, T.-Q. Nguyen, K. Lee*, and A. J. Heeger*, Science 2007, 317, 222-225.  DOI: 10.1126/science.1141711

4. “Imaging of Interfaces in Conjugated Polymer Optoelectronic Devices,” D. W. Steuerman, A. Garcia, R. Yang, and T.-Q. Nguyen*, Adv. Mater. 2008, 20, 528-534. DOI: 10.1002/adma.200700887

5. “Small molecule sensitizers for near-infrared absorption in polymer bulk heterojunction solar cells,” J. Peet, A. Tamayo, X-.D. Dang, J. H. Seo, T.-Q. Nguyen*, Appl. Phys. Lett. 2008, 93, 1633061-1633063.  DOI: 10.1063/1.3001802

6. “Mechanism of electron injection in multilayer polymer light-emitting diodes using conjugated polyelectrolyte as the electron transporting layer,” C. Hoven, A. Garcia, R. Yang, V. Crockett, A. Heeger, G. Bazan, and T.-Q. Nguyen*, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2008, 105, 12730–12735.

7. “Nanoscale Phase Separation and High Photovoltaic Efficiency in Solution-Processed, Small Molecule Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells,” B. Walker, A. Tamayo, P. Zalar, T.-Q. Nguyen*, Adv. Funct. Mater. 2009, 19, 3063-3069. DOI: 10.1002/adfm.200900832

8. “Nanostructure and optoelectronic characterization of small molecule bulk heterojunction solar cells by photoconductive atomic force microscopy,” X.-D. Dang, A. Tamayo, J. Seo, C. Hoven, B. Walker, T.-Q. Nguyen*, Adv. Func. Mater. 2010, 20, 3314–3321. DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201000799.

9. “A Systematic Approach to Solvent Selection Based on Cohesive Energy Densities in a Molecular Bulk Heterojunction System,” B. Walker, A. Tamayo, D. T. Duong, X.-D. Dang, C. Kim, J. Granstrom, T.-Q. Nguyen,* Adv. Energy Mater. 2011, 1, 221-229. DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201000054

10. “Color Tuning in Polymer Light-Emitting Diodes with Lewis Acids,” Peter Zalar, Zachary B. Henson, Gregory C. Welch, Guillermo C. Bazan*, and Thuc-Quyen Nguyen*, Angewandte Chemie 2012, 51, 7495–7498. DOI: 10.1002/anie.201202570

11. “Non-basic High Performance Small Molecules for Solution Processed Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells,” Thomas S. van der Poll, John A. Love, Thuc-Quyen Nguyen* and Guillermo C. Bazan*, Adv. Mater. 2012, 24, 3646–3649.    

12. “Facile Doping of Anionic Narrow Band Gap Conjugated Polyelectrolytes During Dialysis,” C.-K. Mai, H. Zhou, Y. Zhang, Z. B. Henson, T.-Q. Nguyen, A. J. Heeger, G. C. Bazan*, Angewandte Chemie 2013, 125, 13112–13116.

13. “Systematic study of exciton diffusion length in organic semiconductors by six experimental methods,” Jason Lin, Oleksandr V. Mikhnenko, Jingrun Chen, Zarifi Masri, Arvydas Ruseckas, Alexander Mikhailovsky, Reilly P. Raab, Jianhua Liu, Paul W. M. Blom, Maria Antonietta Loi, Carlos J. Garcia-Cervera, Ifor Samuel, and Thuc-Quyen Nguyen*, Materials Horizons 2014, 1, 280-285. DOI: 10.1039/C3MH00089C

14. “Overcoming geminate and enhancing extraction in solution-processed small molecule solar cells,” Christopher Proctor, Dieter Neher, Thuc-Quyen Nguyen*, Adv. Energy Mater. 2014, 4, 1400230. DOI: 10.1002/aenm.201400230

15. “Mapping Orientational Order in a Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cell with Polarization-Dependent Photoconductive Atomic Force Microscopy,” Christopher J. Takacs, Samuel D. Collins, John A. Love, Alexander A. Mikhailovsky, Guillermo C. Bazan, Thuc-Quyen Nguyen*, and Alan J. Heeger*, ACS Nano 2014, 8, 8141-8151.

16. “Understanding Open-Circuit Voltage Loss Through the Density of States in Organic Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells,” Samuel Collins, Christopher Proctor, Thuc-Quyen Nguyen*, Adv. Energy Mater. 2016, 6, 1501721.                    

17. “Capacitance Spectroscopy for Quantifying Recombination Losses in Non-Fullerene Small-Molecule Bulk-Heterojunction Solar Cels,” Viktor V. Brus*, Christopher M. Proctor, Niva A. Ran, Thuc-Quyen Nguyen*, Adv. Energy Mater. 2016, 6, 1502250.

18. “Observing Ion Motion in Conjugated Polyelectrolytes with Kelvin Probe Force Microscopy,” Samuel D. Collins, Oleksandr V. Mikhnenko, Thanh-Luan Nguyen, Zachary D. Rengert, Guillermo C. Bazan, Han Young Woo, Thuc-Quyen Nguyen*, Advanced Electronic Materials 2017, 3, 1700005.

19. “Impact of interfacial molecular orientation on radiative recombination and charge generation efficiency,” Niva A. Ran, Steffen Roland, John A. Love, Victoria Savikhin, Viktor Brus, Christopher J. Takacs, Xiaofeng Liu, Guillermo C. Bazan, Michael F. Toney, Dieter Neher, Thuc-Quyen Nguyen*, Nature Communications 2017, 8, 79. DOI:10.1038/s41467-017-00107-4

20. “Bandgap Narrowing in Non-Fullerene Acceptors: Single Atom Substitution Leads to High Optoelectronic Response Beyond 1000 nm,” Jaewon Lee, Seo‐Jin Ko, Martin Seifrid, Hansol Lee, Benjamin R. Luginbuhl, Akchheta Karki, Michael Ford, Katie Rosenthal, Kilwon Cho*, Thuc‐Quyen Nguyen*, Guillermo C. Bazan*, Adv. Energy Mater. 2018, 8, 1801212

21. “Measuring the competition between bimolecular charge recombination and charge transport in organic solar cells under operating conditions,” Michael C. Heiber,*  Takashi Okubo,  Seo-Jin Ko,  Benjamin R. Luginbuhl,  Niva A. Ran,  Ming Wang,  Hengbin Wang,  Mohammad Afsar Uddin, Han Young Woo,  Guillermo C. Bazan  and  Thuc-Quyen Nguyen*, Energy & Environmental Science 2018, 11, 3019-3032. DOI: 10.1039/c8ee01559g

22. “Unifying Energetic Disorder from Charge Transport and Band Bending in Organic Semiconductors,” A. Karki, G.-J. A.H. Wetzelaer, G. N. M. Redding, V. Nadazdy, M. Seifrid, F. Schauer, G. C. Bazan, B. F. Chmelka, P. W.M. Blom, T.-Q. Nguyen*, Adv. Funct. Mater. 2019, 29, 1901109.

23. “Towards Understanding the Doping Mechanism of Organic Semiconductors by Lewis Acids,” Brett Yurash, David Xi Cao, Viktor V. Brus, Dirk Leifert, Ming Wang, Alana Dixon, Martin Seifrid, Ahmed E. Mansour, Dominique Lungwitz, Tuo Liu, Peter J. Santiago, Kenneth R. Graham , Norbert Koch, Guillermo C. Bazan, and Thuc-Quyen Nguyen Nature Materials 2019, 18, 1327–1334. doi:10.1038/s41563-019-0479-0

24. “Understanding the high performance of over 15% efficiency in single-junction bulk heterojunction organic solar cells,” Akchheta Karki, Joachim Vollbrecht, Alana L. Dixon, Max Schrock, G. N. Manjunatha Reddy*, Thuc-Quyen Nguyen*, Adv. Mater. 2019, 31, 1903868.

25. “The Role of Bulk and Interfacial Morphology in Charge Generation, Recombination, and Extraction in Non-Fullerene Acceptor Organic Solar Cells,” Karki, Akchheta; Vollbrecht, Joachim; Gillett, Alexander; Xiao, Steven; Yang, Yali; Peng, Zhengxing; Schopp, Nora; Dixon, Alana; Yoon, Sangcheol; Schrock, Max; Ade, Harald; Manjunatha Reddy, G. N.; Friend, Richard; Nguyen, Thuc-Quyen, Energy & Environmental Science 2020, 13, 3679-3692.

26. “Large-Gain Low-Voltage and Wideband Organic Photodetectors via Unbalanced Charge Transport,” Jianfei Huang, Jaewon Le, Max Schrock, Alana L. Dixon, Alexander T. Lill, Kilwon Cho, Guillermo C. Bazan*, Thuc-Quyen Nguyen*, Mater. Horiz. 2020, 7, 3234-3241.

27. “The Path to 20% Power Conversion Efficiencies in Non-Fullerene Acceptor Organic Solar Cells,” Akchheta Karki, Alexander J. Gillett, Richard H. Friend*, Thuc-Quyen Nguyen*, Adv. Energy Mater. 2021, 11, 2003441.

28. “The role of charge recombination to spin-triplet excitons in non-fullerene acceptor organic solar cells,” Alexander J. Gillett, Alberto Privitera, Rishat Dilmurat, Akchheta Karki, Deping Qian, Anton Pershin, Giacomo Londi, William K. Myers, Jaewon Lee, Jun Yuan, Seo-Jin Ko, Moritz K. Riede, Feng Gao, Guillermo C. Bazan, Thuc-Quyen Nguyen*, David Beljonne* and Richard H. Friend*, Nature 2021, 597, 666-671.

29. “Insights into Bulk Heterojunction Organic Solar Cells Processed from Green Solvent,” Zhifang Du, Mathieu Mainville, Joachim Vollbrecht, Alana L. Dixon, Nora Schopp, Max Schrock, Zhengxing Peng, Jianfei Huang, Sangmin Chae, Harald Ade, Mario Leclerc, G. N. Manjunatha Reddy*, Thuc-Quyen Nguyen*, Solar RRL 2021, 5, 2100213.

30. “Resolving Atomic-Scale Interactions in Nonfullerene Acceptor Organic Solar Cells with Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy, Crystallographic Modelling, and Molecular Dynamics Simulations,” Benjamin R. Luginbuhl, Parth Raval, Tomasz Pawlak, Zhifang Du, Tonghui Wang, Grit Kupgan, Nora Schopp, Sangmin Chae, Sangcheol Yoon, Ahra Yi, Hyo Jung Kim, Veaceslav Coropceanu, Jean-Luc Brédas, Thuc-Quyen Nguyen*, and G. N. Manjunatha Reddy*, Adv. Mater. 2021, 34, 2105943.

31. “Structural insights into Lewis acid- and F4TCNQ-doped conjugated polymers by solid-state magnetic resonance spectroscopy,” Alana L. Dixon, Thuc-Quyen Nguyen*, Manjunatha Reddy*,  Mater. Horiz. 2022, 9, 981-990. DOI: 10.1039/D1MH01574E

32. “Dual-mode organic electrochemical transistors based on self-doped  conjugated polyelectrolytes for reconfigurable electronics,” Tung Nguyen-Dang, Sangmin Chae, Jirat Chatsirisupachai, Yon Visell, Vinich Promarak,  Thuc-Quyen Nguyen*, Adv. Mater. 2022, 334, 2200274.

33. “Universal and Efficient p-Doping of Organic Semiconductors by Electrophilic Attack of Cations,” Jing Guo, Ying Liu, Ping-An Chen, Xinhao Wang, Yanpei Wang, Jing Guo, Xincan Qiu, Zebing Zeng, Lang Jiang, Yuanping Yi, Shun Watanabe, Lei Liao, Yugang Bai*, Thuc-Quyen Nguyen*, Yuanyuan Hu*, Advanced Science 2022, 9, 2203111.

34. “Impact of Thermal Stress Device Physics and Morphology in Organic Photodetectors,” H. M. Luong, Sangmin Chae, Ahra Yi, Kan Ding, Jianfei Huang, Brian Minki Kim, Claire Welton, Jingcong Chen, Hiba Wakidi, Zhifang Du, Hyo Jung Kim, Harald Ade, G. N. Manjunatha Reddy*, and Thuc-Quyen Nguyen*, ACS Energy Letters 2023, 2023, 8, 2130-2140.

35. “A New Donor Polymer with Photovoltaic Performance Tolerant to Molecular Weight Variations,” Nora Schopp, Sina Sabury, Thomas Chaney, Junxiang Zhang, Pattarawadee Therdkatanyuphong, Hiba Wakidi, Brian Minki Kim, Rahul Sankar, Hoang M. Luong, Viktor V. Brus, Seth Marder*, Michael F. Toney*, John R. Reynolds*, Thuc-Quyen Nguyen*, ACS Energy Lett. 2023, 8, 3307–3313.