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Development of next generation thin film solar cells

Project Description

The provision of clean, sustainable energy is one of the greatest challenges facing modern society and solar photovoltaics (PV) provide the best opportunity for rapidly expanding renewable energy. The energy from sunlight falling on the earth’s surface in one hour is the same as that used on earth in a year, and yet PV electricity provides only a very small fraction of the energy used in the world. PV is becoming increasingly economical, and is now cost-competitive with conventional, fossil fuel, electricity generation. CREST at Loughborough University is one of the leading centres for PV research. Applications are invited to join the CREST team to conduct research in solar energy and be awarded a PhD degree.

Thin film photovoltaics are a next generation solar cell technology with the potential to slash the cost of solar generated electricity. The active layer is only 3 microns thick and this gives the technology a natural cost advantage. In fact, thin film cadmium telluride modules already produce the lowest cost solar energy. A major improvement has been made recently to these solar cells by introducing Selenium to form a CdSeTe alloy as part of the cell architecture. The process of introducing the alloy is not yet fully optimized or fully understood and further gains in efficiency can be made. CREST has the expertise, facilities and industrial contacts to succeed with this important research.

Entry requirements part one:

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science or an Engineering subject.

Entry requirements part two:

All students must also meet the minimum English Language requirements.
A relevant Master's degree and / or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage:
- Renewable Energy
- Photovoltaics
- Semiconductors
- Process Optimization

Full Time Duration: 3 years
Part Time Duration: 6 years

Preferred start date (note that there are four available start dates: 1st January, 1st April, 1st July and 1st October)
1 July 2019, 1 October 2019, 1 January 2020, 1 April 2020

Links to find out more:

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select ‘Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering’. Please quote reference MWUF2019.

Funding Notes

UK/EU Fee band
2018/19: £4,260
2019/20: TBC

International Fee band
2018/19: £20,500
2019/20: £21,100

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