Host Institution

ENSEMBLE3 is a new Centre of Excellence for nanophotonics, advanced materials, and novel crystal growth-based technologies located in Warsaw, Poland, created jointly by the Łukasiewicz Institute of Microelectronics and Photonics, the University of Warsaw (Poland), the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany), the Sapienza University of Rome (Italy), and the Nanoscience Research Center nanoGUNE (Spain). The ENSEMBLE3 Centre will work on the development of novel material technologies and advanced materials with unique electromagnetic properties, with potential applications in fields such as photonics, optoelectronics, telecommunication, solar energy conversion, medicine, and aerospace. 



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Project goal

Photodetectors and sensors are an irreplaceable part of our daily life thanks to their wide range of applications from health, security, electronic devices to smart systems. Several investigations in this direction have already been carried out with different materials. Nevertheless, we need to improve their response time and responsivity for practical applications. For this reason, researchers are always striving to find new materials for better applicability. In this direction, we have extended our search to various emerging 2D materials. The emerging 2D materials (pnictogens, palladium thiophosphate (Pd3(PS4)2), and palladium phosphochalcogenides (PdPS)) have tremendous attraction due to their intriguing structures and extraordinary electronic properties. In the group of pnictogens, only the famous member BP has been better studied by researchers, but the other members such as arsenene, antimonene and bismuthene are largely unexplored. Also, the optical properties of Pd3(PS4)2 and PdPS have hardly been explored experimentally, although theoretical calculations predict a preferred band gap (2.60 eV) with an unprecedented absorption coefficient on the order of 106 cm-1 in the UV-vis region, which have emerged as future candidates for sensors and photodetector applications. The above reason has led us to investigate the optoelectronic and sensing properties of these 2D materials. Our main goal in this project is to develop new self-powered photodetectors and sensors using a photoelectrochemical based system that can be efficiently used for broadband or targeted IR photo sensing by the above single materials or the combination of 2D materials and upconverting nanoparticles. We will also extend our research to the development of photodetectors and sensors using 2D pnictogens and new 2D materials (Pd3(PS4)2 and PdPS) to achieve better device performance.


Description of the research

The main motivation of this project is to fill this gap and provide a platform for future optoelectronic applications. The success of this project is based on an interdisciplinary approach combining materials chemistry, electronics, and optical physics. The path can be summarized:

  1. Realization of high-quality ultrathin film 2D materials by mechanical/chemical exfoliation.
  2. Fabrication of novel device architectures to demonstrate superior device performance and explore the underlying science.
  3. Explore optoelectronic and sensing properties of novel pnictogens, Pd3(PS4)2 and PdPS.
  4. Attempt to develop a novel self-powered (PEC), ultrasensitive and ultrafast sensing platform.

Justification for tackling a specific scientific problem

Two-dimensional (2D) materials have attracted much attention and have been extensively studied in recent decades due to their intriguing physical, electronic, and chemical properties resulting from their 2D quantum confinement. It is immensely important to find new 2D materials that offer the right bandgap, environmental stability, and high carrier mobility to meet the requirements of high-efficiency future devices. One of the example is member of pnictogen group, black phosphorus (BP), which is promising to address the bottlenecks created by graphene (high carrier mobility but zero band gap) and TMDs (low carrier mobility, with a relatively large band gap of 1.5−2.5 eV) with tunable band gap (0.3 to 1.5 eV) and a high carrier mobility (1000 cm2 V−1 s−1). Along this way the emerging layered semiconductors such as metal phosphochalcogenides (i.e., palladium thiophosphate (Pd3(PS4)2) andpalladium phosphochalcogenides (PdPS)) also possess tremendous potential as their theoretical calculations predict an ideal band gap (2.45 eV) with a measured carrier density and Hall mobility of 2.36 × 1016 cm3 and 87 cm2 V-1 S-1, respectively. To fulfil the goal of prepare novel devices for sensors and photodetector applications, we explore the emerging photoelectrochemical (PEC) photodetectors, which are inherently self-powered photodetectors and have a low-cost, environmentally friendly, and simpler fabrication process compared to other types of self-powered photodetectors. We believe that our attempt to develop a new self-powered, ultrasensitive, and ultrafast sensing platform will be effective toxic gas detection and photodetection for practical use of warfare agents.


The impact of the project results on the development of the research field and scientific discipline

The PEC-based, self-powered photodetector with novel 2D materials enables the design and construction of highly effective photodetectors for a wide spectral range, from the ultraviolet to the far infrared. They achieve sensitivity that exceeds the current state of the art of commercially produced photodetectors by several orders of magnitude. Volatile organic molecules are of particular interest in biochemistry and public health. Detection of explosives, which are also typically based on organic compounds with nitro or nitric ester groups, is critical. Detection of underwater hazards (e.g., sea mines, torpedoes) is another important but difficult task. Our preliminary results showed superior responsivity and frequency-dependent selectivity for various organic vapors with an ultrafast response and recovery time of less than 1 s. This phenomenon made it a suitable candidate for practical sensing applications. This novel material with the fascinating phenomenon described above will pave the way for practical future applications in optoelectronics and sensing.


Project Mentor

Dr. Dorota A. Pawlak, prof. UW is the Leader of the Functional Materials Technology group at the ENSEMBLE3 Centre, and the President of the E3 Centre. Her research is linked to technology development for the manufacturing of new functional materials, such as plasmonic materials, metamaterials, materials with special electromagnetic properties, materials for solar energy conversion and energy storage and others. She currently focuses on bottom-up methods such as directional solidification and crystallization, nanoparticles direct doping method and associated research. She is chemist from education with all degrees (MSc, 1999-PhD, 2011-habilitation) made at the Chemistry Department at the University of Warsaw, however currently her work is considers mainly materials science. In 2000-2001 she was a postdoc at the Tohoku University in Japan. She is chemist from education with all degrees (MSc,1999-PhD, 2011-habilitation) made at the Chemistry Department at the University of Warsaw, however currently her work is considers mainly materials science. In 2000-2001 she was a postdoc at the Tohoku University in Japan. Previously she was head of the Dept. of Functional Materials at the Institute for Electronic Materials Technology and Leader of the Laboratory of Materials Technologies at the Chemistry Dept. at UW (responsible for setting up the laboratory including searching funds for acquiring apparatus and researchers).


She is coordinating the Teaming and the IRAP project and was the first coordinator of a collaborative NMP FP7 EU-funded Project in Poland (5 mln EUR, 7 Partners from 6 EU countries), laureate of two TEAM Projects (Foundation for Polish Science), holding grants from such foreign institutions as the Air Force Office for Scientific Research in U.S. Her papers are published in such journals as JACS, Adv. Funct. Mater, Adv. Opt. Mater., Chem. Mat.. She has 10 granted patents ( 4 EPO, 6 UPRP) 3 pending patents (2 EPO, 1 UPRP), ~ 100 invited lectures at conferences (including 2 plenary & 7 keynote lectures), ~40 invited lectures at foreign and polish scientific institutions (including: Stanford Univ., US; King's College London, UK; Univ. of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, US; Univ. of Geneva, Switzerland; Optoelectronic Research Centre, Univ. of Southampton, UK; NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, US; Wright-Patterson Air Forces Base, Dayton, US; Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, US, Univ. of Bordeaux, France).


Project Leader

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Google scholar Citation


Research Gate


Current Position: Research Fellow with POLONEZ BIS 3 project (European structural and investment funds) at Ensemble3 Warsaw, Poland 


Dr. Pradip Kumar Roy earned his Ph.D. from National Yang-Ming University (Taiwan) in 2015. Following this, he embarked on a journey as a postdoctoral research fellow at both Academia Sinica and National Taiwan University. His academic pursuits then led him to join Zdenek Sofer’s group at the University of Chemistry and Technology as a CHEMFELLS III (European Structural and Investment Funds) postdoctoral fellow. Transitioning from Prague, he recently relocated to Warsaw, where he became part of ensemble 3 as a POLONEZ BIS -MSCA fellow starting January 1, 2024. His research endeavors primarily revolve around the optoelectronic (PEC-based photodetector) and sensing applications of 2D materials.



This research is part of the project No.  2022/47/P/ST3/03401  co-funded by the National Science Centre and the European Union’s
Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 945339

Project description

Photodetectors and sensors play an indispensable role in our daily lives, finding applications across various domains such as healthcare, security, electronic devices, and smart systems. Consequently, researchers continually strive to discover new materials to enhance their versatility. In our project, our primary objective is to pioneer the development of self-powered photodetectors and sensors using a photoelectrochemical-based system, enabling efficient utilization for both broadband and targeted IR photo sensing. This can be achieved either through individual materials or by synergistically combining 2D materials with upconverting nanoparticles. The core motivation behind our endeavor is to bridge existing gaps in this field and establish a robust platform for future optoelectronic applications. To accomplish this, we are delving into the exploration of emerging 2D materials, including pnictogens, palladium thiophosphate (Pd3(PS4)2), and palladium phosphor chalcogenides (PdPS), owing to their intriguing structures and exceptional electronic properties. Notably, within the pnictogen group, arsenene, antimonene, and bismuthene remain largely uncharted territories, despite theoretical calculations suggesting a moderate band gap (2.60 eV) and an unprecedented absorption coefficient in the UV-vis region on the order of 106 cm-1. These materials are poised to become pivotal candidates for sensors and photodetector applications, prompting our thorough investigation into their optoelectronic and sensing characteristics.


The success of our project hinges on an interdisciplinary approach that amalgamates materials chemistry, electronics, and optical physics. We are particularly interested in harnessing the potential of emerging photoelectrochemical (PEC) photodetectors, renowned for their inherent self-powered capabilities, as well as their cost-effectiveness, environmental friendliness, and simplified fabrication processes compared to other self-powered photodetector variants. We firmly believe that our endeavor to develop a novel, self-powered, ultra-sensitive, and ultrafast sensing platform will significantly advance the detection of toxic gases and warfare agents, paving the way for practical applications in real-world scenarios.



Novel 2D materials (2D pnictogen and palladium chalcogenides): a new self-powered platform for optoelectronics and sensors

Project leader: Dr. Pradip Kumar Roy

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Ensemble3 sp. z o.o.

01-919  Warsaw
133 Wólczyńska St.

NIP 1182211096

KRS 0000858669 

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