MRSEC Visiting Scholar/Professor

Zakya H. Kafafi

Department of Chemistry
Department of Materials Science and Engineering



Ph.D., M.A. Chemistry, Rice University
B.Sc. Chemistry (cum laude) with Mathematics (Minor), University of Houston



Dr. Zakya Kafafi is an adjunct professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Lehigh University, in Bethlehem, PA.

Previously, she spent part of her sabbatical leave from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the laboratory of Professor Chérie Kagan where she was a Visiting Scholar/Professor, in the Departments of Electrical & Systems Engineering, Material Sciences & Engineering, and Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.

Dr. Kafafi spent five years at NSF in the Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences where she served as the Director of the Division of Materials Research (DMR) for three years. During her tenure in DMR, she managed a budget portfolio close to one billion dollar, and oversaw the funding of single and group investigators, interdisciplinary research teams and centers, instrumentation and major facilities such as the National High Magnetic Field laboratory (NHMFL) and Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source (CHESS). Soon after her arrival at NSF, Dr. Kafafi launched an interdisciplinary program named SOLAR with the Chemistry and Mathematical Sciences Divisions, and later expanded it to include the Engineering Divisions which became a NSF flagship and a model for an interdisciplinary effort foundation-wide. Based on the recommendations of the National Academies National Research Council (NRC) report, NSF's MRSEC Program: Looking Back, Moving Forward, she reorganized the MRSEC program and established a two-tier program for Materials Research Centers and Teams. Dr. Kafafi has contributed significantly to enhancing DMR's international activities with more than 32 countries and 50 international funding agencies participating in the DMR international flagship program, the Materials World Network (MWN). She traveled to China, S. Korea, Japan, and African countries to develop strong ties, forge new collaborations and develop international programs. She expanded the Division's international activities to new territories and championed the idea of establishing a yearly US-Africa Advanced Materials Institute that rotates between sub-Saharan African countries. The first US-Africa Advanced Materials Institute for Sustainable Energy was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from December 8 to 20 in 2012.

Prior to joining NSF Dr. Kafafi spent 20 years at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) in Washington, DC where she founded the research group on Organic Optoelectronics, and later on established and was the Head of the Organic Optoelectronics Section at the Optical Sciences Division. Her research interests focused on newly emerging technologies in organic electronics and photonics, spanning a wide spectrum of disciplines in condensed matter and materials research. The development and characterization of organic semiconductors, light-emitting materials and diodes, and light-harvesting and photovoltaic devices using optical, fluorescence, and electroluminescence spectroscopies represent some of the research topics pursued in Kafafi's group at NRL. Energy and charge transfer processes were studied using steady-state and time-resolved photoluminescence. The surface and interface properties of nanostructures, molecular and polymeric materials were investigated using photoemission spectroscopy and scanning probe microscopy. More recently, her research work has focused on designing plasmonic nanostructures that enhance the performance of organic photovoltaics, predict their optical and electrical properties, and guide experimentalists in incorporating surface plasmon light trapping schemes in OPVs and enhance their performance.

Dr. Kafafi is the editor of more than 20 books and conference proceeding volumes. She published more than 240 manuscripts, review articles, and book chapters, in addition to several US patents.

Dr. Kafafi is the Inaugural Deputy Editor for chemical, physical, material sciences, and engineering of Science Advances launched by Science in September 2014. She is the Founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Photonics for Energy. She chairs the annual SPIE Symposium on Organic Photonics + Electronics, and the Conference on Organic Photovoltaics. She serves on the International Advisory Board of the Conferences on "Spins in Organics" (SPINOS) and the Advisory Board of the IEEE Journal of Photonics. Dr. Kafafi is a member of the American Chemical Society (ACS), the Materials Research Society (MRS), and Sigma Xi. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Optical Society of America (OSA), and the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE).

Selected Recent Publications:

Beibei Zeng, Zakya H. Kafafi, and Filbert J. Bartoli, "Design of Plasmonic Ag Nanogratings Electrodes for Organic Solar Cells," J. Photon. Energy, (in press).

Beibei Zeng, Zakya H. Kafafi, and Filbert J. Bartoli, "Transparent Electrodes Employing Ag Nanogratings for Organic Photovoltaics," in "Organic Photovoltaics XV," Zakya H. Kafafi, Paul A. Lane and Ifor D.W. Samuel, Editors, Proc. SPIE 9184, 91841E (2014).

Kai Liu, Beibei Zeng, Haoming Song, Qiaoqiang Gan, Filbert J. Bartoli, and Zakya H. Kafafi, "Super Absorption of Ultra-thin Organic Photovoltaic Films," Invited Paper Opt. Comm. 314, 48 (2014).

Qiaoqiang Gan, Filbert J. Bartoli, and Zakya H. Kafafi, "Plasmonic-Enhanced Organic Photovoltaics: Breaking the 10% Efficiency Barrier," Adv. Mater. 25, 2385 (2013).

Beibei Zeng, Qiaoqiang Gan, Zakya H. Kafafi, and Filbert J. Bartoli, "Polymeric Photovoltaics with Various Metallic Plasmonic Nanostructures," J. Appl. Phys. 113, 063109 (2013).

Qiaoqiang Gan, Filbert J. Bartoli, and Zakya H. Kafafi, "Research Highlights on Organic Photovoltaics and Plasmonics," IEEE Photonics J., Vol. 4, No. 2, 620 (2012).

Wenli Bai, Qiaoqiang Gan, Guofeng Song, Lianghui Chen, Zakya Kafafi, and Filbert Bartoli, "Double Plasmonic Nanostructure Design for Broadband Absorption Enhancement in Organic Photovoltaics," J. Photon. Energy, Volume 1, 011121 (2011).

Kaushik Roy Choudhury, Franky So, and Zakya H. Kafafi, "Colloidal Semiconductor Nanocrystal- Enabled Organic/Inorganic Hybrid Light-Emitting Devices," in Comprehensive Nanoscience and Technology, D. L. Andrews, G. D. Scholes and G. P. Wiederrecht, Editors, Volume 4, 183 (2011).

Wenli Bai, Qiaoqiang Gan, Guofeng Song, Lianghui Chen, Zakya Kafafi, and Filbert Bartoli, "Broadband Short-Range Surface Plasmon Structures for Absorption Enhancement in Organic Photovoltaics," Optics Express 18 (104), A620 (2010).

Zakya H. Kafafi, Guest Editor, René Janssen, Kwanghee Lee, and Barry Rand, Guest Associate Editors, "Next Generation Organic and Hybrid Solar Cells," IEEE J. of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, 16, Issue 6 (November/December 2010).

C. S. Kim, M. Kim, D. C. Larrabee, I. Vurgaftman, J. R. Meyer, S. H. Lee and Z. H. Kafafi, "Enhanced Performance of Organic Light-Emitting Diodes Using Two-Dimensional Zinc Sulfide Photonic Crystals," J. Appl. Phys. 106, 113105 (2009).

Leonidas C. Palilis, Paul A. Lane, Gary P. Kushto, Balaji Purushothaman, John E. Anthony, and Zakya H. Kafafi, "Organic Photovoltaic Cells with High Open Circuit Voltages Based on Pentacene Derivatives," Organic Electronics 9, 742 (2008).

Selected Invited, Keynote and Plenary Talks:

SPIE Optics + Photonics Meeting, Conference on Photonics Innovations and Solutions for Complex Environments and Problems, "The Future is for Plastic Optoelectronics," San Diego, CA (8/17-21/2014).

Materials Research Society Fall Meeting, Symposium H: Small-Molecule Organic Solar Cells, "Plasmonic-enhanced Molecular Organic Solar Cells" Boston, Massachusetts (11/26-30/2012).

Workshop on Metamaterials and Plasmonics: Novel Materials, Designs, and Applications, "Organic Photovoltaics with Enhanced Performance Based on Novel Plasmonic Nanostructures," Buffalo, New York (5/16-17/2011).

International Workshop on Industrial Renewable Energy Applications, "Future of Solar Energy in the Middle East and North Africa," Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (11/10/2010).

International Workshop on Electronic Structure and Processes at Molecularly-Based Interfaces (ESPMI-V) in Memory of Professor Kazuhiko Seki, "Molecularly Engineered Surfaces and Interfaces for Organic Optoelectronics," Chiba University, Japan (1/26-28/2010).

American Chemical Society Spring Meeting, ACS Award in Applied Polymer Science: Symposium in Honor of Andrew J. Lovinger, "When Optoelectronics Go Organic!" San Francisco, California (3/21-25/2010).

Second World Materials Summit Meeting, "Present and Future Directions in Global Materials Energy Research," Suzhou, China (10/12-15/2009).

Organic Microeletronics and Optoelectronics Workshop IV, "Pentacene Derivatives as Red Emitters in OLEDs and Hole Transporters in OPVs," San Francisco, CA (7/7-10/2008).

10th International Conference on Organic Nonlinear Optics and, International Conference on Organic Photonics and Electronics, "Silicon-based Organics for Optoelectronic Applications," Santa Fe, NM (5/18-23/2008).



The Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) is supported by the National Science Foundation under NSF Award Number DMR-1121262. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation.
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