Description of field of research:

Photovoltaic (PV) solar cells are the cheapest energy source in the history (check IEA latest report). This has been achieved by careful characterisation of the cells and detailed loss analysis.

We can still improve solar cell and push them to their ultimate potential. Improved efficiency requires the ability to identify and quantify loss mechanisms, many of which are recombination related. Thus, innovative analysis methods need to be developed to facilitate improved understanding and identification of various loss mechanisms. The proposed research aims to investigate recombination processes that deteriorate solar cells performance, using a novel measurement technique based on photoluminescence (PL). The outputs of this research will assist with development of advanced processes to improve device performance.

We are aiming for silicon and non-silicon devices.

This project can be extended to a 4th year project.

Research Area


The research will be done as a part of a research team of three experienced researchers and six PhD students. Within the group, the student will enjoy close collaboration with two researchers and one PhD student.

Three of our previous ToR won the 'Best Project' Award. Most of them continue to 4th Year project with us and two of them are now a PhD students within the group!

The work will include both experimental and theoretical aspects. The experimental part will be done in the newly built state of the art SPREE characterisation laboratories using advanced PL systems. The theoretical aspect will be focused on recombination processes in silicon and perovskite.

Due to its novelty, the outputs of this research will be published in leading scientific journals. It also assumed that some aspect of this research can be implemented into commercial PL systems.

This project is a follow-up of a Test of Research project that won the ‘Best Project’ award in the Engineering Faculty.

The research is based on knowledge the student is assumed to have gained though the courses (the student is expected to have taken 2-3 of these courses):

  • SOLA3020 Photovoltaic Technology and Manufacturing
  • SOLA3507 Solar Cells
  • SOLA5055 Semiconductor Devices
  • SOLA5508 High Efficiency Silicon Solar Cells
  • SOLA5509 Fundamentals of Photovoltaic Materials Processing