PhD Studentship: Optical Coatings for Solar Cover Glass

Loughborough University

Application details:

Reference number: SPEC3105

Start date 1st October 2017

Closing date: 31st May 2017


Primary supervisor: Prof. J M Walls

Secondary supervisor: Prof. R Smith

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Graduate School, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Find out more:

Project Detail:

Solar modules are encapsulated using a glass cover sheet. This cover sheet reflects ~8% of the incident light reducing the energy output of the module. In addition, the cover glass is subject to soiling which also reduces the system efficiency. This project will address these two important problems. A broadband anti-reflection coating will be designed for the wavelength range used by silicon solar cells to increase the light transmission into the module and cause a corresponding increase in the photocurrent. A super-hydrophobic coating will also be incorporated to reduce the surface energy and adhesion of soiling from the atmosphere. These innovations will increase the performance and reduce the maintenance for solar modules.

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Physics or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Solar energy, optical coatings, low energy coatings.

Funding information:

Funding is provided by the EPSRC National Productivity Investment Fund. The studentship is for 4 years and provides a tax free stipend of £14,553 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Due to funding restrictions, this is only available to those who are eligible to pay UK/EU fees. In order to qualify for a full award, all applicants must meet the EPSRC eligibility criteria including the minimum UK residency requirement (

Contact details:

Name: Prof. Michael Walls

Email address:

Telephone number: 01509 635201

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select ‘Electronic, Electrical and Systems Engineering’  

Please quote reference number: SPEC3105

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Midlands of England