Catherine De Castro, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellows

​Postdoctoral Fellow in Laquai group

Research Interests

​Catherine’s major research interests are directed towards the accurate photophysical characterization of materials and data analysis. Her work is currently focused on photocatalysis and organic photovoltaics although she has extensive experience with perovskites, fluorescence probes and chemosensors as well as complex polymer systems.

Selected Publications

  • About perovskites in solar cells 
    De Castro, C. S.; Davies, M. L.
    QUMICA, 43, n. 152, 2019., (2019)
  • Shining a light on the photoluminescence behaviour of methylammonium lead iodide perovskite: investigating the comp... 
    Péan, E. V.; De Castro, C. S.; Davies, M. L.
    Materials Letters, 243, 191-194, 2019., (2019)
  • Improving the light harvesting and colour range of methyl ammonium lead tri bromide (MAPbBr3) perovskite solar cell... 
    McFarlane, T.; De Castro, C. S.; Holliman, P. J.; Davies, M. L.
    Chemical Communications, 55, 35-38, 2018., (2018)
  • Vapour assisted morphological tailoring of lead-free Bismuth based perovskite solar cells for improved performance ... 
    Sagar, J.; Dibya, P.; Davies, M. L.; Li, M.; Bertrand, P.; De Castro, C. S.; Zhen, Q.; Jin...
    Nano Energy, 49, 614-624, 2018., (2018)
  • Green synthesis derived CdS quantum dots using tea leaf extract: antimicrobial, bioimaging and therapeutic applicat... 
    Shivaji, K.; Mani, S.; Ponmurugan, P.; De Castro, C. S.; Davies, M. L.; Balasubramanian, M...
    ACS Applied Nano Materials, 1 (4), 16831693, 2018., (2018)
  • Impact of aggregation on the photochemistry of fullerene films: correlating stability to triplet exciton kinetics 
    Speller, E. M.; McGettrick, J. D.; Rice, B. M.; Telford, A. M.; Lee, H. K. H, Tan, C.-H.; ...
    ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 9 (27), 2273922747, 2017. , (2017)
  • Photoinduced charge transfer: from photography to solar energy 
    De Castro, C. S.; Dimitrov, S.; Burrows, H. D.; Douglas, P.; Davies, M. L.
    Science Progress, 100(2), 1 20, 2017., (2017)
  • Spectroscopic and photophysical studies of a naphthalene-based emissive probe for metal cations 
    De Castro, C. S.; de Melo, J. S. S.; Fernández-Lodeiro, A.; Nuñez, C.; Lodeiro, C.
    norganic Chemistry Communications, 47, 27-32, 2014. , (2014)
  • Photophysics of fluorescently labeled oligomers and polymers 
    de Melo, J. S. S.; Costa, T.; de Castro, C. S.; Maçanita, A. L. Angelo Albini E. Fasani.
    Photochemistry. ed. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry, 2013, 41, 59-126., (2013)


  • Ph.D., Chemistry, Specialisation in Photochemistry, University of Coimbra, Portugal, 2016
  • Masters Degree, Advanced Chemistry, University of Coimbra, Portugal, 2010
  • B.Sc (Hons.), Chemistry, University of Coimbra, Portugal, 2008

Professional Profile

  • ​2018 - 2019: Technology Transfer Fellow. Swansea University. United Kingdom
  • 2016 - 2018: Post-Doctoral Research Assistant. Swansea University. United Kingdom
  • 2015 - 2015: Fellow Researcher. University of Coimbra, Portugal. Laser Lab Europe III - Study of ultrafast photoinduced reactions
  • 2011 - 2015: Ph.D. Fellow Researcher. University of Coimbra, Portugal. Synthesis, photophysical and molecular simulation investigations on fluorescent oligomers and polymers
  • 2010 - 2010: Fellow Researcher. University of Coimbra, Portugal. Anthocyanins as natural photoprotectors

Scientific and Professional Membership

  • Early Career Representative on the RSC's Photophysics and Photochemistry Group's Committee
  • Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
  • European Society of Photobiology (ESP)
  • Portuguese Society of Chemistry (SPQ)


  • Nomination for Education/Science Award, Gala Ardina D'Ouro, Notícias de Fafe, Portugal (2019)
  • Selection for Workshop and Early Career Researcher funding for the International Conference on Solar Power at IIT Delhi, London South Bank University, UK (2019)
  • Sponsorship from Shimadzu for the RSC Photophysics and Photochemistry Early Career Researchers meeting 2018. Swansea University, UK (2018)
  • Research art as competition. Swansea University, UK (2018)
  • Energy, Sustainability and Environment Division of the RSC Scientific Meetings Grant. Swansea University, UK (2018)
  • EPSRC Fellowship (Technology Transfer Fellow). ACceleration of Circular Economy for Printable Photovoltaics Through Eco-Design (ACCEPTED). Swansea University, UK (2018)
  • EPSRC First Grant scheme (Post-Doctoral Research Assistant). Interfaces, stability and energy efficiency: photochemical characterisation of perovskites for printable photovoltaics. Swansea University, UK (2017)
  • Research art as competition, imagination award. Swansea University, UK (2017)
  • Santander Staff Mobility Awards 2016/17. Swansea University, UK (2016)
  • Ph.D. Grant. University of Coimbra, Portugal (2010)
  • Award for the 3% Best Student of each course. University of Coimbra, Portugal (2009)
  • Best Student Award. Basic School of 2nd and 3rd Cycles of Montelongo, Fafe, Portugal (2002)

KAUST Affiliations

  • ​KAUST Solar Center (KSC)
  • Division of Physical Science and Engineering (PSE)

Research Interests Keywords

photophysics ultrafast laser spectroscopy data analysis photocatalysis​ Organic photovoltaics Perovskites fluorescence probes chemosensors polymers