Fully Funded EPSRC and IQE plc PhD Scholarship: Ultra-light Flexible Tandem Silicon/Perovskite Solar Cells

Swansea University - Photovoltaics, Solar Energy, Energy Conversion

Supervisor: Dr Matt Carnie

Duration: 4 years

Perovskite solar cells have caused much excitement in the last few years since their appearance in the research literature in 2012. The absorption characteristics of perovskite films means they are ideally suited to building tandem perovskite-silicon solar cells in attempt to capture a wider portion of the solar spectrum. Similar tandem devices have now reached 26.3 % efficiency in the laboratory. 

A generous (£20,000/year), tax free, four-year scholarship is available for this exciting and challenging project, which seeks to build tandem perovskite-silicon solar cells on ultra-thin, flexible epitaxial silicon layers. These types of devices will initially find applications requiring high specific power for such as space power and unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) applications. The project is sponsored by IQE plc, a world leading manufacturer of semiconductor materials based in Cardiff, and the producer of the flexible silicon material. The successful candidate will spend a significant portion of their time working at IQE’s manufacturing facility in Cardiff UK, fabricating the silicon wafers (travel expenses to/from Swansea will be provided). The candidate will then build and characterise the tandem solar cells in the state-of-the-art facilities operated by SPECIFIC-IKC on the College of Engineering’s Bay Campus.

We are seeking a talented candidate with a passion for solar cell materials research, who can work comfortably across the disciplines of Materials Science, Manufacturing, and Applied Physics, in both the University and Industrial/Commercial environment.


Academic requirements:

Applicants should hold a first or upper second class (2:1) honours degree (or its equivalent) in physics, chemistry or materials engineering, or related subjects.

Some knowledge of silicon and/or perovskite photovoltaics is highly desirable and we would particularly encourage applicants with previous project experience in the areas of solar cells materials and/or device physics to apply.

Residency criteria:

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to UK/EU candidates only.

The scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, a tax-free annual stipend of £20,000 for four years and additional funding for other research expenses.

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