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Research profile

René Janssen leads the interdepartmental research group Molecular Materials and Nanosystems at Eindhoven University of Technology, which is part of the departments Chemical Engineering and Chemistry as well as Applied Physics. The research objective of the group is to investigate and develop molecules, macromolecules and (nano)structured materials with tailored physical properties. The interest in these functional molecular materials and nanosystems is driven by the scientific challenge to understand the underlying mechanisms of the physical phenomena in systems of reduced dimensionality, down to the molecular level. Future applications are in organic and polymer solar cells, electrochemical cells, transistors and diodes.

Janssen has in particular obtained a thorough understanding of the subtle interactions of light and the chemical and electrical structures at the nanoscale. This has led to major improvements in the efficiency of polymer solar cells. The group now works on multi-junction molecular solar-to-electricity conversion devices, to further improve efficiencies. Another focus in Janssen's research is solar-to-fuel conversion using organic semiconductors in a process mimicking natural photosynthesis. To this aim new organic materials and electrocatalysts are being developed.

Academic background

René Janssen studied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e, the Netherlands) where he received his MSc degree in 1983 cum laude. In 1987, he obtained his PhD at the same university with an experimental and theoretical study on organic radicals in single crystals. In 1991, he was appointed associate professor at TU/e in the field of physical organic chemistry. In 1993 and 1994, he was an associate researcher with the group of Professor Alan Heeger at the University of California Santa Barbara to work on the photophysical properties of conjugated polymers. In 2000, he was appointed full professor at TU/e in Physical Organic Chemistry at the department of Chemical Engineering & Chemistry. In 2003, he was also appointed Professor of Molecular Materials and Nanosystems at the department of Applied Physics. In 2011 Janssen was elected member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW) and in 2013 he was appointed distinguished university professor at TU/e. Janssen received important grants and awards, among which the Pioneer grant from the Dutch science foundation NWO (1999), the René Descartes Prize from the European Commission (2000), a NWO TOP grant (2006), an ERC Advanced Grant (2013) and the NWO Spinoza Prize (2015). He is a member of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems and one of the principal investigators of the long-term NWO Gravitation research program 'Functional Molecular Systems', which in 2012 was funded with 26,9 million euro.


Physical organic chemistry

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  • 12 Similar Profiles
Polymers Chemical Compounds
Solar cells Chemical Compounds
Fullerenes Chemical Compounds
Conversion efficiency Chemical Compounds
Energy gap Chemical Compounds
Conjugated polymers Chemical Compounds
Heterojunctions Chemical Compounds
solar cells Physics & Astronomy

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Research Output 1984 2020

5 Downloads (Pure)

Controlling the microstructure of conjugated polymers in high-mobility monolayer transistors via the dissolution temperature

Li, M., Bin, H., Jiao, X., Wienk, M. M., Yan, H. & Janssen, R. A. J., 7 Jan 2020, In : Angewandte Chemie - International Edition. 59, 2, p. 846-852 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Conjugated polymers
4 Downloads (Pure)

On the origin of dark current in organic photodiodes

Simone, G., Dyson, M. J., Weijtens, C. H. L., Meskers, S. C. J., Coehoorn, R., Janssen, R. A. J. & Gelinck, G. H., 1 Jan 2020, In : Advanced Optical Materials. 8, 1, 7 p., 1901568.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Dark currents
dark current
2 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)

Adjusting aggregation modes and photophysical and photovoltaic properties of diketopyrrolopyrrole-based small molecules by introducing B←N bonds

Pang, S., Más-Montoya, M., Xiao, M., Duan, C., Wang, Z., Liu, X., Janssen, R. A. J., Yu, G., Huang, F. & Cao, Y., 7 Jan 2019, In : Chemistry : A European Journal. 25, 2, p. 564-572 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Excited states
Crystal orientation
5 Citations (Scopus)
49 Downloads (Pure)

Advances in solution-processed multijunction organic solar cells

Rasi, D. D. C. & Janssen, R. A. J., 8 Mar 2019, In : Advanced Materials. 31, 10, 27 p., 1806499.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
1 Citation (Scopus)

Carboxylate-substituted polythiophenes for efficient fullerene-free polymer solar cells: the effect of chlorination on their properties

Wang, Q., Li, M., Zhang, X., Qin, Y., Wang, J., Zhang, J., Hou, J., Janssen, R. A. J. & Geng, Y., 25 Jun 2019, In : Macromolecules. 52, 12, p. 4464-4474 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review



Prof. dr. ir. Rene Janssen

R.A.J. Janssen (Recipient), 2015

Prize: NWOSpinozaScientific


Research Center for Functional Molecular Systems

E.W. Meijer (Recipient), J.C.M. van Hest (Recipient), L. Brunsveld (Recipient), R.A.J. Janssen (Recipient) & R.P. Sijbesma (Recipient), 2013

Prize: NWOGravitationScientific

selection procedure
Ministry of Education

Solar Energy Conversion in Molecular Multi-Junctions

R.A.J. Janssen (Recipient), 2013

Prize: ERCAdvancedScientific

Energy conversion
Solar energy
Conversion efficiency

University professor: Prof. dr. ir. R.A.J. (René) Janssen

R.A.J. Janssen (Recipient), 2013

Prize: TU/eUniversity professorScientific



DBL Energy

1/09/14 → …



1/09/13 → …


Graduation Project MSMC

1/09/15 → …


Press / Media

Study results pave the way to programmable electronic inks

René A.J. Janssen & Mengmeng Li


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Marriage of two cheap photovoltaic technologies

R.A.J. Janssen


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

René Janssen wins Spinoza Prize

R.A.J. Janssen


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

DIFFER research institute moves to TU/e campus

R.A.J. Janssen & M.R. de Baar


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Why Extra Solvents During Processing Improve Organic Solar Cells

René A.J. Janssen


1 item of Media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment


Organic flow batteries

Koen H. Hendriks (Researcher), René A.J. Janssen (Researcher)

Impact: Research Topic/Theme (at group level)

Organic solar cells

René A.J. Janssen (Researcher), Stefan C.J. Meskers (Researcher), Martijn M. Wienk (Researcher)

Impact: Research Topic/Theme (at group level)

Perovskite solar cells

René A.J. Janssen (Researcher), Stefan C.J. Meskers (Researcher), Martijn M. Wienk (Researcher)

Impact: Research Topic/Theme (at group level)


Gerwin H. Gelinck (Researcher), René A.J. Janssen (Researcher), Stefan C.J. Meskers (Researcher)

Impact: Research Topic/Theme (at group level)

Solar fuels

René A.J. Janssen (Researcher), C.F.J. (Kees) Flipse (Researcher), Martijn M. Wienk (Researcher)

Impact: Research Topic/Theme (at group level)

Student theses

All-solution processed regular organic solar cells using a new inkjet-printable cathode

Author: van Franeker, J., 31 Aug 2012

Supervisor: Galagan, Y. (External person) (Supervisor 1) & Janssen, R. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master


Bio activation of PPV-films for impedance-based biosensing

Author: Thoelen, R., 31 Aug 2004

Supervisor: Janssen, R. (Supervisor 1), Cooreman, P. (External person) (External coach) & Wagner, P. (. (External person) (External coach)

Student thesis: Master


Characterisation of charge transport in polymer solar cells

Author: Plaisier, O., 31 Jan 2002

Supervisor: van Duren, J. (Supervisor 1) & Janssen, R. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

Controlling the aggregation behaviour of diketopyrrolopyrrole polymers for photovoltaic applications

Author: Leenaers, P., 30 Nov 2016

Supervisor: Heintges, G. (Supervisor 1) & Janssen, R. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

Controlling the doping level in a conducting polymer for application in enhancement mode organic electrochemical transistors

Author: Pol, T., 13 Nov 2018

Supervisor: Meskers, S. (Supervisor 1), van de Burgt, Y. (Supervisor 2), Janssen, R. (Supervisor 2) & Friedrich, H. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master