Dr Samuele Lilliu

Dr Samuele Lilliu is an applied physicist (PhD), electronics engineer (MEng, BEng), science communicator, and digital marketing expert. He is director and producer at Bullaki ltd.

Samuele Lilliu


  • Awarded and managed £3,000,000+ in research grants from multiple funding agencies
  • Published 35 peer-reviewed papers in high-impact factor journals (4162 citations, 23 h-index) with 166 collaborators from academia and industry
  • Produced multiple B2B marketing campaigns
  • Published 150+ videos (730,000+ views, 38,000+ hours watched)
  • Contributed to reshaping science communication and scientific publishing

With a proven track-record of collaborative leadership in R&D, creative productions, and their intersections, Dr Lilliu can assemble and manage effective teams and source suitable equipment and consumables for any project size. Capable of navigating complex bureaucratic environments and successfully running projects with limited resources, he can offer innovative solutions to organisations interested in deploying effective strategies to research management and facilitation, marketing campaigns, content creation, communication, and outreach.

Prior to the incorporation of Bullaki ltd, Dr Lilliu spent 5 years at the University of Sheffield working as a principal investigator on synchrotron X-ray diffraction techniques for the study of perovskite materials for photovoltaic devices. Between 2007 and 2015 Dr Lilliu led research in several countries (USA, Germany, France, Italy, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Hungary) on plastic electronics, sensors, solar cells, machine learning, big data, image processing and glass coatings.

Synchrotron X-Ray Diffraction BM28 Beamline ESRF
Figure 1 | Synchrotron X-Ray Diffraction BM28 Beamline with Lilliu's GI-WAXS setup (ESRF, Grenoble, France). Learn more about this project.

Dr Lilliu completed a PhD in Physics in 2011 at Cardiff University, where he successfully defended a thesis titled Organic Photodetectors Optimization and Nanoscale Investigation. His undergraduate studies include a Bachelor and a Master of Engineering in electronics from the University of Cagliari (Italy).

Research Interests

For 12+ years Lilliu has been providing creative solutions to scientists and engineers working at the forefront of innovation. His research interests include instrumentation and software development for multi-domain measurements, i.e. simultaneously probing samples with multiple techniques. Multi-domain analysis is data-intensive and requires complex analysis, including machine learning based data reduction. Areas of application of multi-domain measurements are field-agnostic and not limited to applied physics, but span across various scientific fields, including chemistry, biology, forensics, archaeology, art, engineering, and defence.

Synchrotron X-Ray Diffraction ID13 Beamline ESRFF
Figure 2 | Multi-domain measurement with Lilliu's setup for simultaneous XRD, Optical Microscopy, and XRF measurements at ID13 beamline (ESRF, Grenoble, France). Learn more about this project.

The following citation data was retrieved from Dr Samuele Lilliu's Google Scholar page (last updated 2023-01-01 19:21:29 UTC ).

Figure 3 | Number of Citations vs Year, Dr Lilliu's citation chart extracted from Google Scholar. Note that Scopus gives lower values as they are more strict in the way the count citations.

Table 1 list Dr Lilliu’s peer-reviewed articles (last updated 2023-01-01 19:21:29 UTC ).

Table 1 | List of peer-reviewed publications by Dr Samuele Lilliu.
#TitleJournalCited by
1Maximizing and stabilizing luminescence from halide perovskites with potassium passivationNature 555, 497-501, 20181221
2High-efficiency perovskite–polymer bulk heterostructure light-emitting diodesNature Photonics, 2018627
3Lattice strain causes non-radiative losses in halide perovskitesEnergy & Environmental Science 12 (2), 596-606, 2019296
4Real‐time investigation of crystallization and phase‐segregation dynamics in P3HT: PCBM solar cells during thermal annealingAdvanced Functional Materials 21 (9), 1701-1708, 2011276
5X-ray imaging with scintillator-sensitized hybrid organic photodetectorsNature Photonics, 2015242
6Dynamics of crystallization and disorder during annealing of P3HT/PCBM bulk heterojunctionsMacromolecules 44 (8), 2725-2734, 2011232
7The development of nanoscale morphology in polymer: fullerene photovoltaic blends during solvent castingSoft Matter 6 (17), 4128-4134, 2010146
8Dependence of Charge Separation Efficiency on Film Microstructure in Poly(3-hexylthiophene-2,5-diyl):[6,6]-Phenyl-C61 Butyric Acid Methyl Ester Blend FilmsThe Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters 1 (4), 734-738, 2010128
9Surface and bulk structural characterization of a high-mobility electron-transporting polymerMacromolecules 44 (6), 1530-1539, 2011122
10The role of alkane dithiols in controlling polymer crystallization in small band gap polymer: Fullerene solar cellsJournal of Polymer Science Part B: Polymer Physics 49 (10), 717-724, 2011109
11Quantifying charge carrier concentration in ZnO thin films by Scanning Kelvin Probe MicroscopyScientific Reports 4, 201496
12Dedoping of lead halide perovskites incorporating monovalent cationsAcs Nano 12 (7), 7301-7311, 201876
13In-situ Simultaneous Photovoltaic and Structural Evolution of Perovskite Solar Cells During Film FormationEnergy & Environmental Science, 201776
14Influence of bridging atom and side chains on the structure and crystallinity of cyclopentadithiophene–benzothiadiazole polymersChemistry of Materials 26 (2), 1226-1233, 201472
15Monitoring the Formation of a CH3NH3PbI3–xClx Perovskite during Thermal Annealing Using X-Ray ScatteringAdvanced Functional Materials, 201663
16Localized effect of PbI 2 excess in perovskite solar cells probed by high-resolution chemical–optoelectronic mappingJournal of Materials Chemistry A 6 (45), 23010-23018, 201848
17Degradation Kinetics of Inverted Perovskite Solar CellsScientific Reports 8, 201843
18Inkjet-printed organic photodiodesThin Solid Films 520 (1), 610-615, 201140
19Mapping Morphological and Structural Properties of Lead Halide Perovskites by Scanning Nanofocus XRDAdvanced Functional Materials, 201631
20Grain rotation and lattice deformation during perovskite spray coating and annealing probed in-situ by GI-WAXSCrystEngComm, 201630
21Oligo(aniline) nanofilms: from molecular architecture to microstructureSoft Matter, 201325
22Bimodal crystallization at polymer–fullerene interfacesPhysical Chemistry Chemical Physics 17 (3), 2216-2227, 201523
23Effects of Thermal Annealing Upon the Nanomorphology of Poly (3‐hexylselenophene)‐PCBM BlendsMacromolecular rapid communications 32 (18), 1454-1460, 201123
24EFM data mapped into 2D images of tip-sample contact potential difference and capacitance second derivativeScientific Reports, 201322
25Absence of Structural Impact of Noble Nanoparticles on P3HT:PCBM Blends for Plasmon-Enhanced Bulk-Heterojunction Organic Solar Cells Probed by Synchrotron GI-XRDScientific Reports, 201516
26The Path to Perovskite on Silicon PVScientific Video Protocols 1 (1), 1-8, 201815
27Perovskite LEDsScientific Video Protocols 1 (1), 1-5, 201914
28Optofluidic approaches to stationary tracking optical concentrator systemsNonimaging Optics: Efficient Design for Illumination and Solar Concentration …, 201312
29Sun-tracking optical element realized using thermally activated transparency-switching materialOptics Express 23 (15), A930-A935, 201511
30The Influence of Substrate and Top Electrode on the Crystallization Dynamics of P3HT:PCBM BlendsEnergy Procedia 31, 60-68, 201211
31Quantum BiologyScientific Video Protocols 1 (1), 1-4, 20205
32Detrimental Effect of Silicon Nanoparticles on P3HT:PCBM-Based OPV DevicesMacromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 20155
33Reciprocal Space Mapping for DummiesarXiv:1511.06224 [cond-mat.soft], 20154
34Mosaic Warfare and Human–Machine SymbiosisScientific Video Protocols 1 (1), 1-12, 20212
35Research data supporting High-efficiency perovskite-polymer bulk heterostructure light-emitting diodes


Dr Lilliu’s has led, co-led, and has been part of several international projects including researchers from 16 countries. The map in Figure 4 summarises Dr Lilliu’s academic (non-unique) collaborations by color coding a world map according to the number of collaborators per country.

Figure 4 | Choropleth map showing Dr Lilliu's number of (non-unique) collaborators by country. Data was extracted from the affiliation of each author apperaing in Dr Lilliu's publications. A choropleth map is a statistical map that uses pseudocolor corresponding to a geographic characteristic within spatial enumeration units, such as population density.

Figure 5 shows the number of co-authored papers with each of the 166 collaborators.

Figure 5 | Histogram of co-authors showing the number of papers co-authored with a certain author.
Learn more about teamwork in scientific research…

Scientific research is often a collaborative process as it requires the integration of a variety of skills, knowledge, and perspectives to design experiments, collect and analyse data, and interpret results. Working in a team allows scientists sharing ideas and insights, distribute tasks, and provide critical feedback on each other’s work. This can lead to more efficient and effective research, and can also foster a sense of community and support among researchers, while at the same time encourage competition with rival groups.

In addition, the complexity and scale of many scientific problems today often require the expertise and resources of multiple individuals or organizations. For example, large-scale research projects may involve teams of scientists from different disciplines and institutions, as well as support staff and funding agencies.

While it is not uncommon for scientists to work independently on certain aspects of a research project, it is rare to find “old school lone scientists” who work completely alone on all aspects of a research project. Some like to think of Einstein as a “lone genius”. However while he is often associated with the image of the solitary genius, Einstein did collaborate with other scientists throughout his career. Einstein’s early work on the theory of relativity, for example, was influenced by the ideas of others, including Henri Poincaré and Hermann Minkowski. He also received critical feedback and support from colleagues such as Marcel Grossmann and David Hilbert.

The collaborative nature of scientific research is reflected in the way that research is typically conducted and published, with most papers being authored by multiple individuals and research teams often publishing their findings in collaboration with other groups. For example in 2015 a team of physicist published a paper on the measurement of the Higgs Boson Mass, which included 5154 authors, which set the record for the largest number of contributors to a single research article. According to Nature “The average number of authors on a physical sciences paper more than quadrupled from 9 in 2012 to 39 between 2016”.

In Summary, to get an idea of the level of the collaborative effort in a project, one could look at a published work and check the number of authors. Published papers can also be viewed not only as a way of presenting new scientific finding, but also as a final report of milestones reached within one or more projects, which can often last months if not years.

Technical Skills

Research ManagementSynchrotron X-ray DiffractionProposals WritingR&DSpectroscopyLab ManagementWet LabsOptical MicroscopyAFMSTMEFMSEMUHVUPSXPSRaman SpectroscopyMetal DepositionSputteringEvaporationGlove BoxUV-VISAIMachine LearningNeural NetworksMATLABPythonGitImage ProcessingTypesettingPeer-review ManagementData AnalysisOptoelectronic DevicesLEDsPhotodiodesSolar CellsDevices FabricationOrigin

Science Communications Interests

As a scientist and filmmaker, Lilliu is interested in blending, merging, and finding points of contact between scientific findings and creative content creation.

Over the past years he has mastered most aspects of filmmaking including preproduction, direction, camera and steadicam operations, lighting, sound recording, drone operations, video editing, colour grading, sound editing, 2.5D animations, 3D animations, broadcasting, etc. Expertise in these fields allowed him to effectively translate R&D into visually pleasing stories.

Video 1 | Dr Lilliu's showreel. A compilation of short clips from some of the best productions. Roles are highlighted at the bottom of the video. Learn more about this project.


  • Incorporated Bullaki ltd, a digital marketing start-up providing consulting services to industry and academia (list of clients), and helping them publicising their work by producing impactful marketing campaigns and software applications.
  • Took care of marketing, management, operations, and finance and raised £70,000+ from angel investors.
  • Licensed 10+ own productions to social media influencers and filmmakers (e.g. podcast with Michael Shermer was featured in one of the most viewed documentaries on Netflix).
  • Established and launched Scientific Video Protocols as the first cinematic peer-reviewed video journal worldwide (www.scivpro.com), hosting scientific publications by some of the best scientific minds (15 published articles).Saved £40,000+ by programming Scientific Video Protocols journal back and front-end infrastructure and typesetting software.
  • Helped Leverhulme Centre for Life in the Universe obtaining a £10,000,000 grant (see project here)
  • Developed documentary series “Origins of Life” (estimated budget £1,200,000), convinced 20+ scientists to be featured in documentary, and top UK broadcaster to join project.
  • Produced sponsored interview series with 4 Nobel Laureates: Didier Queloz, Venki Ramakrishnan, Richard Henderson, and Brian Josephson.
  • Convinced communication teams of DARPA (guests: STO Director Timothy Grayson, MTO Director Mark Rosker) and Raytheon (guest: ACT Vice-President Bradford Tousley) to co-produce 3 remote interviews for own podcast, which were all featured in Forbes.
  • Owner of cinema-grade equipment for professional A/V productions, including broadcast/live capabilities. Able to operate cinema cameras, sound, and light equipment. Experienced in the development of ad-hoc filming rigs and setup of data management servers.
  • Identifying, researching, scripting, and converting science-based academic content, technical reports, and corporate messaging from multiple disciplines into structured interview plans and engaging video content.
  • Taking care of branding, visual identity, and brand standards to drive strategy and execution of marketing content.

Full portfolio organised by services: Video Productions, Equipment Rental, Distribution, 3D Animations, Educational Videos, Drone Videography, B-rolls, Motion Graphics, Illustrations, Photography, Data Visualisation, Video Articles, Web Development, App Development, Consulting, Events, Video Editing, Studio Recording, Documentaries, Video Podcasts, Film Crew Hire.

Video 2 | History of the UAE, a talk by Peter Hellyer on archaeology and palaeontology in the United Arab Emirates. Produced, shot, edited by Dr Lilliu. Learn more about this project.
Frontispiece for Advanced Functional Materials vol 26 issue 45
Figure 6 | Frontispiece for Advanced Functional Materials vol 26 issue 45 edited by Dr Lilliu (color remapping of an SEM scan image of a perovskite film). Learn more about this project.

Video 3 | Thz Time Domain Spectroscopy Emission and Transmission Setup in a nutshell. Learn more about this project.
Generalised evolution of a rocky planetary body
Figure 7 | Generalised evolution of a rocky planetary body, an illustration made by Dr Lilliu and collaborators for a successfully awarded £10M grant proposal. Learn more about this project.

Technical Skills

Davinci ResolvePremiereProAfter EffectsAuditionBlenderUnreal EnginePhotoshopIllustratorInDesignCSSSCSSHTMLJavaScriptJSONREST APIHUGOSQLNode.jsGatsby.jsWordPressPHPSEOMarkupJamstackCeltXCinema CamerasLightDPDOPSound EngineeringVisual Studio CodeGitGitHubApache ServerData ManagementProductivity Apps DevelopmentFilm ProductionFilm EditingColor GradingOn Camera InterviewingPodcast ProductionData VisualisationFull Stack DevelopmentMarketing Analysis