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PhD Scholarship in Highly Efficient Bifacial Organic Solar Cells

School of Engineering

About the Project

Description: There has been an alarming increase in the atmospheric CO2 content since the mid-19th century primarily due to the use of fossil fuels for energy generation. Significant portion of this is associated with the transport sector, the building sector also accounts for a large portion of energy. According to the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive by the European Commission (2019), 40% of the total energy consumption in Europe is due to growth in population and the building sector. This has led to the adoption of renewable energy sources for power generation for the building sector. The majority of the solar cells available to the consumer use the classical silicon-based photovoltaic technology, which is expensive and generates very low power under indoor lighting conditions, making it less attractive for indoor energy harvesting. Therefore, there is a need for a technology that enables high power outputs under both indoor and outdoor lighting while being capable of incorporation into building components.

Organic photovoltaics (OPVs) are expected to play a major role in future power generation because of their capability to deposit solar cells on flexible substrates by printing from solution or spray-coating. Flexible OPVs solar modules are now becoming commercially available and the first large-area installations have been demonstrated for outdoor and indoor power generation. However, these modules are produced by thermal evaporation in a vacuum which is an expensive technology. This project aims to develop novel active and interface materials to make low-cost and next-generation flexible bifacial organic solar cells by solution methods (ink-jet printing or spray-coating) for both outdoor and indoor energy harvesting.

The outcomes of this project for the PhD candidate are listed below:
• Investigate the photophysical properties using transient optical spectroscopies;
• gain experience in time-resolved spectroscopy and other characterisation techniques;
• develop the strategies to enhance light absorption, charge generation and extraction;
• fabrication and characterisation of highly efficient bifacial solar cells using non-toxic organic materials;
• present the findings of the project in international conferences;
• perform high-quality research and publish it as journal articles.

This will be a 3 .5-year fully funded studentship for an EU/UK and overseas applicants who are keen to conduct research in the development of renewable energy sources at LSBU in the School of Engineering.

Supervisory Team:

The successful applicant will be working with Dr Tariq Sajjad
( ) at LSBU. As a PhD student, you will join the London Centre for Energy Engineering ( and work alongside a range of new and experienced PhD students in a collaborative environment.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Tariq Sajjad (). Please send a copy of your CV with a covering letter directly to Dr Tariq Sajjad before applying.


Applicants must be of outstanding academic merit and should have (or be expected to gain) either a first class or an upper second class Honours degree (or the international equivalent), or an MSc/MRes with distinction. Enthusiastic and self-motivated candidates from all countries with a background in either Material Science, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering or a related discipline are encouraged to apply. A good knowledge or experience in Material characterisation along with device fabrication would be advantageous.

The School of Engineering at London South Bank University is an ambitious and progressive centre of research strength, ranked 25th nationally for research power in the last Research Excellence Framework. We have a fabulous central London location and are looking for talented potential students interested in research to work with our academic faculty in areas of strength. We are offering a number of funded PhD scholarships below. These studentships are available to UK nationals & EU citizen’s and overseas applicants*. Those in possession of their own funding (e.g. via a non-EU government scholarship) are also welcome to apply for a place of study.

Further details on each PhD project as well as application information are provided via this link ( but the PhD scholarship benefits from the following:
• Training in advanced engineering topics
• Mentoring from industry on the application and context of research
• Bespoke technical training
• Enterprise and innovation skills training
• Transferable skills development opportunities to increase employability
• 3-year studentships of ~£15,000 per annum living stipend (tax free)
• Payment of all tuition fees*
• A school supported consumables and travel budget to support additional specialist research training courses, access to specialist equipment and travel to international conferences, seminars and workshops
• Industry sponsored* cutting-edge research projects
• Wide choice of PhD projects ranging from applied to blue-sky research
• State-of-the-art research facilities in the centre of London
• Opportunities for overseas secondments to industrial partners and universities
• Excellent career prospects on completion of the PhD
* for eligible students only

LSBU Research Centres Website:, please click on the link here ( to see the specific PhD posts available.

Closing date for applications: 15th of July 2020
PhD Start: 1st October 2020

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