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Development of materials for back-contact perovskite solar cells


Department of Physics and Astronomy

Dr D G Lidzey Applications accepted all year round Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
Sheffield United Kingdom Chemical Physics Experimental Physics Solid State Physics

About the Project

Solar cells now make an increasingly important contribution to our energy generation. Over the last decade, solar cells based on perovskite semiconductors have grown to be one of the most important emerging renewable energy technologies, as they can display an efficiency that matches and potentially exceed that of silicon solar cells. One issue that remans to be solved however is how to manufacture perovskite solar cells at high volume. Here, opportunities emerge for new types of device architecture that are potentially easier to process at high speed and low cost. One new technology that has recently been developed is a so-called ‘V-groove’ back-contact solar cell. This novel device architecture (which has been patented by the project partners Power Roll Ltd) will potentially allow very low-cost solar cells to be manufactured by roll-to-roll techniques. This devices architecture is very lightweight, flexible and has a range of new applications from powering internet of things devices to providing power to satellites.

In this project, you will work closely with Power Roll (who are co-funding the studentship), and will help to develop new materials and process routes to enhance device efficiency. This will involve the deposition of metal oxide charge extraction layers, and processing of the perovskite semiconductor. One material of particular interest is tin-oxide. As part of the project, you will optimise the deposition of SnO2 via e-beam evaporation, and assess its electronic properties by fabricating a range of solar cell devices. 

You will be primarily based in Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Sheffield and will work in the EPMM research group. However you will keep in close contact with researchers at Power Roll and will help transfer technology to the company.

This is a 3.5 year experimental research project that comes with full fees and stipend. It will suit a recent graduate having a 2.1 or better in physics, chemistry, materials engineering or electrical engineering. The project will give you substantial experience of working on industry-focussed problems, and is therefore a perfect opportunity to provide yourself with very valuable commercial-awareness and practical manufacture skills. Please contact Prof David Lidzey () for more details.

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