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PhD projects

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Personal profile

Biography

I am an professor in the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering involved in research and learning and teaching activities.

 

I currently teach fundamental experimental skills in physics and engineering covering a broad range of concepts: laser diffraction, atomic spectroscopy, Hall effect and optical properties of semiconductors, and gravity to name a few. I also endeavour to demonstrate to students the role and value of error analysis in scientific measurements as well as practising key skills in the dissemination of scientific content. I also teach Nuclear Energy.

My research background is in the area of thin film photovoltaics where layers one or two microns thick are used to absorb sun light and generate electricity. Despite half a century of tremendous progress the technology offers so much more and the prospects are very exciting. As an experimentalist I like spending my time whenever possible in the lab getting involved with the team in fabricating or characterising new layers and structures. Getting your first working device is always an event and I remember mine even though it was a long time ago.

I graduated from the Université de Savoie in France in 1998 with a DUT "Mesures Physiques". I then joined Northumbria University where I completed a BSc (Hons) in Applied Physics and MSc in Optoelectronics & Communication Systems. I was awarded a PhD in Physics from Durham University in 2005 for a thesis on thin film solar cells on a collaborative project with Bangor University. In 2005, I joined the photovoltaic group at Northumbria University to conduct research on photovoltaic solar cells based on CuInSe2 and related materials as part of the EPSRC funded project "SUPERGEN PV21 Photovoltaic Materials for the 21st Century". I joined the academic team of the Faculty of Engineering & Environment at Northumbria university in 2012. Visit the photovoltaic group pages for more info.

Funded projects

  • Solution-processed inorganic thin film photovoltaics devices (SolPV) (EP/V008692/1) (2021-2024) £607k within a 2.0M programme (Co-I)
  • EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU) (EP/S023836/1) (2019-2027) £5.4M (Co-I);
  • EPSRC (EP/R021503/1) North East Centre for Energy Materials (NECEM), (2017-2021) £330k within a £1.8M programme (Co-I);
  • EPSRC NECEM Flexible Grant, Nanoscale Interfacial Engineering of Antimony-based Absorber Material for PV Applications, (2019-2021) £206k (Co-I);
  • EPSRC CAMREG Flexible Fund, Fully depleted heterostructures: a novel thin-film solar cell architecture for improved device performance, (2018-2019) £14k within a £44k programme (Co-I);
  • EPSRC First Grant Scheme (EP/N024389/1), CZTSSe Solar Cells from Nanoparticle Inks, (2016-2018) £98k (PI);
  • UK–India (UKIERI/DST project (IND/CONT/E/13-14/657)) Development of Efficient low Cost Photovoltaic Solar Cells Based on the use of Tin Sulphide Absorber Layers, (2014-2016) £14k within a £22k programme (PI);
  • HEIF Innovation Project Award Development of 5W, 4-terminal Metal Strip Shunt Resistor, (2013) £12k (Co-I);
  • Royal Society Research Grant (RG120090) A Low Cost Nanostructure Fabrication System for Sustainable Solar Paint (2012-2013) £15k (Co-I);
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering Travel Grant (2010);
  • The Royal Society Travel Grant (2007).

 

Research interests

My research background is in the area of thin film photovoltaics where layers one or two microns thick are used to absorb sun light and generate electricity. Despite half a century of tremendous progress the technology offers so much more and the prospects are very exciting. As an experimentalist I like spending my time whenever possible in the lab getting involved with the team in fabricating or characterising new layers and structures. Getting your first working device is always an event and I remember mine even though it was a long time ago.

Funded projects

  • Solution-processed inorganic thin film photovoltaics devices (SolPV) (EP/V008692/1) (2021-2024) £607k within a 2.0M programme (Co-I)
  • EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU) (EP/S023836/1) (2019-2027) £5.4M (Co-I);
  • EPSRC (EP/R021503/1) North East Centre for Energy Materials (NECEM), (2017-2021) £330k within a £1.8M programme (Co-I);
  • EPSRC NECEM Flexible Grant, Nanoscale Interfacial Engineering of Antimony-based Absorber Material for PV Applications, (2019-2021) £206k (Co-I);
  • EPSRC CAMREG Flexible Fund, Fully depleted heterostructures: a novel thin-film solar cell architecture for improved device performance, (2018-2019) £14k within a £44k programme (Co-I);
  • EPSRC First Grant Scheme (EP/N024389/1), CZTSSe Solar Cells from Nanoparticle Inks, (2016-2018) £98k (PI);
  • UK–India (UKIERI/DST project (IND/CONT/E/13-14/657)) Development of Efficient low Cost Photovoltaic Solar Cells Based on the use of Tin Sulphide Absorber Layers, (2014-2016) £14k within a £22k programme (PI);
  • HEIF Innovation Project Award Development of 5W, 4-terminal Metal Strip Shunt Resistor, (2013) £12k (Co-I);
  • Royal Society Research Grant (RG120090) A Low Cost Nanostructure Fabrication System for Sustainable Solar Paint (2012-2013) £15k (Co-I);
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering Travel Grant (2010);
  • The Royal Society Travel Grant (2007).

Further Information

PhD graduates as principal supervisor

  • Dr Stephen Campbell (2020), Spectroscopy of Cu2ZnSnS4 nanoparticle inks and Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 solar cells
  • Dr Stephen Nwankwo (2019), Process and post-annealing optimisation of SnS thin films with alternative buffer layers.
  • Dr Arezoo Amirkhalili (2017), CdTe solar cells in substrate configuration: influence of Mo, Na, Cl and Mg treatments to promote recrystallization in the absorber layer.

 

PhD graduates as co-supervisor

  • Dr Zahra Ischwein (2020), Zinc Oxide Nanorods (ZnO NRs) for photovoltaic applications.
  • Dr Xinya Xu (2019), Flexible Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 solar cells made from nanoparticle inks.
  • Dr Cecil Cherian Lukose (2018), An investigative study of manganese-based antiperovskite structures as a thin film resistive material system.
  • Dr Chao Zhao (2016), Low temperature synthesis of nanostructured oxides for dye sensitized solar cells.
  • Dr Yongtao Qu (2016), Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 solar cells prepared from Cu2ZnSnS4 nanoparticle inks.
  • Dr Remi Aninat (2012), Study of Cu(In,Al)Se2 thin films prepared by selenisation of sputtered metallic precursors for application in solar cells.

Education/Academic qualification

Physics, PhD

1 Jan 200631 Dec 2099

Award Date: 1 Jan 2006

Communication Studies, MSc

1 Sep 200031 Dec 2099

Award Date: 1 Sep 2000

Applied Physics, BSc (Hons)

1 Sep 199831 Dec 2099

Award Date: 1 Sep 1998

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