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Probing electron transport and nanoscale behaviour in perovskite solar cells


Project Description

We will use cutting edge techniques to probe electron transport and nanoscale behaviour at the interfaces of novel perovskite solar cells in order to improve the efficiency and long-term stability of these devices.

Methodology

The project is uniquely structured to equip the candidate with knowledge of every stage from growth of the active layer to the real-world performance of a device, leading to fantastic employment prospects in the academic/energy sector on graduation.
1. Probing fundamental physics of perovskite interfaces (Dr Karen Syres). We will determine the bonding, band energy alignment and charge-transfer properties at the interface using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and synchrotron radiation techniques (at external facilities). We will build perovskite solar cell devices using thin film deposition equipment at UCLan (funding won by Karen Syres in an internal equipment bid).

Key outcome/thesis chapter: Charge transfer at interfaces

2. Microscopy of perovskite interfaces (Dr Joe Smerdon). We will use electron microscopy to measure the cross-sections of fabricated solar cells to analyse the interface quality, which is crucial to solar cell efficiency. We will use state-of-the-art atomic resolution cross-section STM (X-STM) to measure the per-atom morphology, interface quality and electronic structure of thin films of perovskite deposited on technologically relevant substrates, such as glass, ITO glass and silicon.

Applications

Applicants must apply using the online form on the University Alliance website at https://unialliance.ac.uk/dta/cofund/how-to-apply/. Full details of the programme, eligibility details and a list of available research projects can be seen at https://unialliance.ac.uk/dta/cofund/

The final deadline for application is 12 April 2019.

Funding Notes

DTA3/COFUND participants will be employed for 36 months with a minimum salary of (approximately) £20,989 per annum. Tuition fees will waived for DTA3/COFUND participants who will also be able to access an annual DTA elective bursary to enable attendance at DTA training events and interact with colleagues across the Doctoral Training Alliance(s).

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801604.

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