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Personal profile


Dr Yongtao Qu is an Associate Professor in Physics with his research interest in developing light absorbing layers and structures for the generation of clean and renewable electricity. Dr Qu has published one book chapter and 30+ research articles, including several world-leading journals such as Progress in Photovoltaics (ranked 6/126 in Energy & Fuels category) and Composites Part A (3/34 in Materials Science & Composite category). Yongtao led a British Council-Newton Fund Institutional Links to develop ultralight absorber using photonic lift-off technology for remote energy harvesting research programme (£247k, 2021-2023), and hosted The Royal Society-Newton International Fellowship on lightweight PVs for IoT applications (£135k, 2023-2025). Working closely with 16 partners across the UK and Europe, he has recently been successful in securing a Horizon Europe Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Doctoral Networks 2023 - Optical and wireless sensors networks for 6G scenarios (OWIN6G, €2.67M). Dr Qu has been invited to give 10+ talks at significant conferences/leading institutions, organised/chaired 5+ international events, reviewed paper publications for 10+ journals and served as an Associate Editor in Frontiers in Chemistry.

Dr Qu is directly contributing as the Centre Manager to the running of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU). He was instrumental in helping ReNU to achieve accreditation in 2022 from both the Institute of Physics (IOP) and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and led a series of training and workshops to help ReNU PhD students to secure the Registered Scientist (RSci) status as a mark of excellence in personal and professional integrity.

Du Qu is actively involved in the physics and electrical engineering programmes within the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering. The work includes being Module Tutor for Advanced Photovoltaics, teaching Semiconductor Physics and supervising both undergraduate and postgraduate project students. This commitment was recognised in 2021 when he was awarded Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, following the assessment of my Post-Graduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP) programme which received "Distinction" status.


Renewable Energy Northeast Universities

Northumbria Photovoltaic Group



Research interests

Dr Qu is expertized in the development, fabrication, characterisation, thin film PV devices from printable nanoparticle inks, which provides added benefit to high volume and high value manufacturing to develop a reliable and transferable technology in light weight Earth abundant solar cells. His current research interest is to explore and understand the interfaces between the materials within the solar cells over a full range of length scales (atom to device), from the investigation of atomic ordering in the absorber to the improvement of PV devices via reduced back contact barrier using alternative nanoparticle fabrication strategy. He also has wide research interests in green energy materials, including fullerene C60 carbon materials, insulation/flame-retardant materials and CO2 adsorption/storage materials.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

Education/Academic qualification

Physics, PhD

5 Apr 201631 Dec 2099

Award Date: 5 Apr 2016

Other Courses, MSc

30 Jun 201131 Dec 2099

Award Date: 30 Jun 2011


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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