Solar Photovoltaic Academic Research Consortium

Professor Stuart Irvine, SPARC II Director

Stuart Irvine

"SPARC II will create added value through a world leading research network that together provides the range of skills for making a new generation of PV technology a reality".

What is SPARC II?

SPARC II is a SO1.1 Operation funded by the Welsh European Funding Office with the beneficiaries comprising of Swansea, Aberystwyth and Bangor Universities. The operation is led by Swansea University and will runs until December 2020. SPARC II will develop new themes in solar PV energy research which will address the big challenges for this. The research will seek added value solutions to these technology challenges that will provide new manufacturing and supply opportunities for Welsh industry.

Materials Enviro Group
Materials Hub

Contact Us

Contact Us

Dr Dan Lamb
SPARC II Project Manager
Centre for Solar Energy Research
College of Engineering,
Swansea University,
OpTIC Centre, Ffordd William Morgan,
St. Asaph Business Park, LL17 0JD

Tel:  (01745) 535238


The Centre for Solar Energy Research, Swansea University

Professor Stuart Irvine

Dr Dan Lamb

Dr Andrew Clayton

Dr Giray Kartopu

Dr Ana Toleoken

Dr Ochai Oklabia

Mrs Emma Dawson-Parry

Mr Stephen Jones

Mr Peter Siderfin

Ms Carol Venters

Electronic Systems Design Centre, Swansea University

Dr Petar Igic

Dr Senthooran Balasubramaniam

Dr Khue Tian Lai

Associate Professor Lijie Li

Dr Nafiseh Badiei

Dr Grazia Todeschini

Physics Department, Aberystwyth University

Professor Andy Evans

Dr Simon Cooil

Dr Dave Langstaff

Dr Rudi Winter

Dr Chris Finlayson

Dr Rachel Cross

Dr Matt Gunn

Mr Matthew Jevon

Ms Jessica Gittins

Chemistry Engineering Materials Environment Group, Swansea University

Professor Peter Holliman

Dr Rosie Anthony

Dr Leo Furnell

Dr Arthur Connell

Dr Eurig Jones

Electronic Engineering, Bangor University

Dr Jeff Kettle

Dr Priyanka Tyagi

Dr Iestyn Pierce

Dr James Wang

Dr Roger Giddings

Dr Bing Yan

Materials Hub, Swansea University

Associate Professor Dr Matt Carnie

Professor Trystan Watson

Dr Chao Zhao

Dr Adam Pockett


SPARC II Staff papers –

Stoichkov, V., Kumar, D., Tyagi, P. and Kettle, J., 2018. Multistress Testing of OPV Modules for Accurate Predictive Aging and Reliability PredictionsIEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, (99), pp.1-8.

Bristow, N. and Kettle, J., 2018. Outdoor organic photovoltaic module characteristics: Benchmarking against other PV technologies for performance, calculation of Ross coefficient and outdoor stability monitoringSolar Energy Materials and Solar Cells175, pp.52-59.

G Kartopu, D Turkay, C Ozcan, W Hadibrata, P Aurang, S Yerci, HE Unalan, V Barrioz, Y Qu, L Bowen, AK Gürlek, P Maiello, R Turan, SJC Irvine “Photovoltaic performance of CdS/CdTe junctions on ZnO nanorod arrays”, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Vol 176 (2018) 100-108

Fernandes, R.V., Urbano, A., Duarte, J.L., Bristow, N., Kettle, J. and Laureto, E., 2018. Tuning the optical properties of luminescent down shifting layers based on organic dyes to increase the efficiency and lifetime of P3HT: PCBM photovoltaic devicesJournal of Luminescence

Stoichkov, V., Bristow, N., Troughton, J., De Rossi, F., Watson, T.M. and Kettle, J., 2018. Outdoor performance monitoring of perovskite solar cell mini-modules: Diurnal performance, observance of reversible degradation and variation with climatic performanceSolar Energy170, pp.549-556.

Melvin, A.A., Stoichkov, V.D., Kettle, J., Mogilyansky, D., Katz, E.A. and Visoly-Fisher, I., 2018. Lead iodide as a buffer layer in UV-induced degradation of CH 3 NH 3 PbI 3 filmsSolar Energy159, pp.794-799.

Hughes, L., Bristow, N., Korochkina, T., Sanchez, P., Gomez, D., Kettle, J. and Gethin, D., 2018. Assessing the potential of steel as a substrate for building integrated photovoltaic applicationsApplied Energy229, pp.209-223.

Gongwei Hu, Y Zhang, L Li, ZL Wang, “Piezotronic Transistor Based on Topological Insulators”, ACS Nano, vol. 12, no. 1, 2018, pp. 779-785. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.7b07996

L Jin, X Yan, X Wang, W Hu, Y Zhang and L Li, “Dynamic model for piezotronic and piezo-phototronic devices under low and high frequency external compressive stresses", Journal of Applied Physics, vol. 123, p. 025709, 2018. (featured) DOI: 10.1063/1.5009485

Y. Zhang, J. Nie, and L. Li “Piezotronic effect on the luminescence of quantum dots for micro/nano-newton force measurement” Nano Research, (2017) pp.1-10

L. Furnell,P. Holliman, A. Connell, E. W. Jones, R. Hobbs,C. P. Kershaw, R. Anthony, J. Searle, T. Watson and J. McGettrick “Digital Imaging to Simultaneously Study Device Lifetimes of Multiple Dye-sensitized Solar Cells” Sustainable Energy & Fuels, Vol 1, (2017) pp.362 – 370

P. Capper, S. J. C. Irvine, T. Joyce “Epitaxial Crystal Growth: Methods and Materials” Springer Handbook of Electronic and Photonic Materials, (2017)

A. Amirkhalili, V. Barrioz, S. J. C. Irvine, N. S. Beattie, G. Zoppi “A combined Na and Cl treatment to promote grain growth in MOCVD grown CdTe thin films” Journal of Alloys and Compounds, Vol 699, (2017) pp.969 - 975

R. A. Belisle, W. H. Nguyen, A. R. Bowring, P. Calado, X. Li, S. J. C. Irvine, M. D. McGehee, P. R. F. Barnes and B. C. O'Regan “Interpretation of inverted photocurrent transients in organic lead halide perovskite solar cells: proof of the field screening by mobile ions and determination of the space charge layer widths” Energy & Environmental Science, Vol 10, (2017) pp.192 - 204

A. J. Clayton, M. A. Baker, S. Babar, R. Grilli, P. N. Gibson, G. Kartopu, D. A. Lamb, V. Barrioz, S. J. C. IrvineEffects of Cd 1-x Zn x S alloy composition and post-deposition air anneal on ultra-thin CdTe solar cells produced by MOCVD” Materials Chemistry and Physics, Vol 192, (2017) pp.244 – 252

D. A. Lamb, C. I. Underwood, V. Barrioz, R. Gwilliam, J. Hall, M. A. Baker, S. J. C. Irvine Proton irradiation of CdTe thin film photovoltaics deposited on cerium‚Äźdoped space glass” Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, (2017)

J. Kettle, V. Stoichkov, D. Kumar, M. Corazza, S. A. Gevorgyan, F. C. Krebs “Using ISOS consensus test protocols for development of quantitative life test models in ageing of organic solar cells” Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Vol 167, (2017) pp.53 - 59

D. Kumar, V. Stoichkov, S. Ghosh, G. C. Smith, J. Kettle “Mixed-dimension silver nanowires for solution-processed, flexible, transparent and conducting electrodes with improved optical and physical properties” Flexible and Printed Electronics, Vol 2, Issue: 1, (2017) pp. 15005

D. A. Lamb, S. J. C. Irvine, A. J. Clayton, G. Kartopu, V. Barrioz, S. D. Hodgson, M. A. Baker, R. Grilli, J. Hall, C. I. Underwood, and R. Kimber “ Characterization of MOCVD Thin-Film CdTe Photovoltaics on Space-Qualified Cover Glass” IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, Vol 6, Issue: 2, (2016) pp.557 – 561

S.M. Abdalhadi, A. Connell, X. Zhang, A. A. Wiles, M. L. Davies, P. J. Holliman, G. Cooke “Convenient synthesis of EDOT-based dyes by CH-activation and their application as dyes in dye-sensitized solar cells” J. Mater. Chem. A, Vol 4, (2016), pp.15655 - 15661

Z. Ding, V. Stoichkov, M. Horie, E. Brousseau, J. Kettle “Spray coated silver nanowires as transparent electrodes in OPVs for Building Integrated Photovoltaics applications” Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Vol 157, (2016) pp.305 – 311

J. Kettle, N. Bristow, D. T. Gethin, Z. Tehrani, O. Moudam, B. Li, E. A. Katz, G.A. dos Reis Benatto, F. C. Krebs, “Printable luminescent down shifter for enhancing efficiency and stability of organic photovoltaics” Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Vol 144, (2016) pp. 481 – 487

R. V. Fernandes, N. Bristow, V. Stoichkov, H. S. Anizelli, D. Scapin, L. José, E. Laureto, J. Kettle, “Development of multidye UV filters for OPVs using luminescent materials” Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, Vol 50, Issue: 2, (2016) pp.25103

J. Kettle, Z. Ding, M. Horie, G.C. Smith, “XPS analysis of the chemical degradation of PTB7 polymers for organic photovoltaics” Organic Electronics, Vol 39, (2016) pp.222 – 228

J. Kettle, H. Waters, M. Horie, G. C. Smith, “Alternative selection of processing additives to enhance the lifetime of OPVs” Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, Vol 49, Issue: 8, (2016) pp.85601

Z. Ding, J. Kettle, M. Horie, S. W. Chang, G. C. Smith, A. I. Shames, E. A. Katz “Efficient solar cells are more stable: the impact of polymer molecular weight on performance of organic photovoltaics” Journal of Materials Chemistry A, Vol 4, Issue: 19, (2016) pp.7274 - 7280

SPARC II Research

The SPARC II research goals have been incorporated into a work package structure to ensure that SPARC II will be building on the research expertise of the six participating teams to provide added value to this ERDF investment. The 6 Research Centres will work under multiple work package sub-headings identified as tasks.

Research Centre


Research Expertise



Thin film PV materials and chemical vapour deposition for coating with inorganic materials, innovative module design, encapsulation and ultra-light-weight modules.



Smart power electronics for more efficient extraction of power under different light conditions.

Materials Hub


Advanced characterisation of organic and inorganic PV cells to gain new insights to improvements in PV efficiency and long term stability.



Advanced materials characterisation using bespoke cluster tools incorporating real-time X-ray and optical methods to give new insights to the physics of PV devices and explore in-line monitoring techniques for PV module fabrication.



Synthesis of new PV materials and fabrication into new devices and modules

Electronic Engineering


Accelerated lifetime testing and failure mechanisms in new PV devices and modules, improve long term energy generation from PV.


Work Package



Research in new PV materials to achieve long term sustainability, non-toxic and potential for high performance


Innovative PV module fabrication to include ultra-light-weight modules, flexible PV modules, potential for architectural integration


Lifetime and environmental testing of encapsulated PV modules to establish potential for robustness


Smart Power electronics for PV applications


Advanced materials thin-film coating techniques: fundamental understanding to laboratory realisation