PhD Studentship Cheap and Efficient GaAsP Solar Cells on Silicon

To celebrate the University’s research successes, the University of Hull is offering one UK/EU PhD Scholarship, or International Fees Bursary for candidates with a 1st, 2(i), or equivalent

Closing date 11th January 2013.

Studentships will start in September 2013

Supervisors: Dr Sergey Rybchenko,, 01482 465062, Department of Electronic Engineering and Prof Stephanie Haywood,, 01482 466397

Silicon-based solar cell modules currently dominate the solar energy market because of their low cost and long-term reliability, but convert only about 14-19% of the available solar energy. This leads to a relatively high cost per watt of installed power (currently ~1€/watt peak). There is considerable research activity aimed at reducing this cost and hence reducing the energy payback time for solar PV. Two approaches are used: (a) reducing material cost – usually with some loss of efficiency and (b) increasing efficiency by using novel material – usually with significant additional cost per unit area. To combine (a) and (b), we propose to keep the fundamental advantages of silicon technology – high reliability at moderate cost – and increase efficiency by adding extra p-n junction using III-V semiconductors grown on silicon. In this programme, we propose to use III-V materials in two forms: traditional thin layers and novel nanowire structures. Hence this project offers an opportunity to explore a combination of advanced solar cell designs and new material structures.

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The PhD student will be involved in designing III-V on Si solar cell structures which will be subsequently grown in collaboration with University College London. The student will be heavily involved in extensive characterisation of novel solar cells and related materials by optical spectroscopy methods (including photoluminescence, FTIR absorption and reflection spectroscopy) in addition to photocurrent spectroscopy and solar efficiency measurements. Learning semiconductor processing and working in a clean room environment will be another important activity related to this studentship.

A degree in Electronic Engineering or in Physics is prerequisite for this studentship. Important personal qualities will include willingness to learn new practical skills and relevant theory, hands-on skills and ability to plan and prioritise own work. 

To apply for this post please click ‘Apply Online’ below.

A full-time UK/EU PhD Scholarship will include fees at the ‘home/EU’ student rate and maintenance (£13,590 in 2013/14, subject to final confirmation) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

Full-time International Fee PhD Studentships will include full fees at the International student rate for three years, dependent on satisfactory progress, but no living expenses.

PhD students at the University of Hull follow modules for research and transferable skills development and gain a Masters level Certificate, or Diploma, in Research Training, in addition to their research degree.

Successful applicants will be informed of the award by 29th March 2013.

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