CASE studentship in the development of PV encapsulation systems
The topic of this experimental PhD is the development of efficient encapsulation systems for perovskite solar cell devices. Many solar cell materials undergo degradation when exposed to air or moisture, and so technologies are needed to protect them during extended operation. While such techniques are well established for silicon solar cells, this is not true for new, emerging thin-film solar cell technologies. In this project, you will fabricate a range of different perovskite solar cell devices, and develop of low-cost methods to protect them from atmospheric degradation. Typical approaches will be the use of low-cost metal back-cases “cans” that are filled with “getter” materials. As part of the work, you will test the effectiveness of the different encapsulation systems using a range of techniques, including exposing them to light from solar simulators, humidity levels, elevated temperatures and out-door testing. Your aim is to improve device encapsulation to a point where you can accurately determine intrinsic material degradation mechanisms.
Your work will be based in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the university of Sheffield, and you will work in the Electronic and Photonic Molecular Materials Group (https://epmm.group.shef.ac.uk). The work will be co-sponsored by the company Ossila Ltd (www.ossila.com) with whom we have extensive research links. Ossila sell materials, technologies and equipment to researchers developing solar-cells and other thin-film technologies. As part of their growing product portfolio, they want to sell a new encapsulation system, and so you will help to develop a range of a new encapsulation products. You will get plenty of opportunity to work with the company, including a number of extended placements in the company’s labs in Sheffield.
This project is perfect for a recent UK graduate in physics, physical-chemistry, materials-science or electrical engineering with a 2.1 degree or better. The project will also suit students who want to gain experience in the development of new solar-cell technology and who wish to build their employability through significant hands-on industry experience
This position is only open to UK nationals. Please contact Prof David Lidzey ([email protected]) for more details.