SPARC II

Building research capacity in solar photovoltaic technology

Photos of the SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC ACADEMIC RESEARCH CONSORTIUM team

What is SPARC II?

The purpose of this research funding is to build research capacity in solar photovoltaic research, to ensure that the SPARC II team can attract substantial competitive research funding that will enable new research partnerships for ground breaking research and lead to effective technology transfer in the future The research will seek added value solutions to these technology challenges that will provide new manufacturing and supply opportunities for Welsh industry.

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 run until December 2020.

Professor Stuart Irvine, SPARC II Director

 

"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."

Latest News
  • Congratulations to one of the SPARC II research team members, Dr Rosie Anthony who attended the HOPV19 (Hybrid & Organic Photovoltaics) conference in Rome 12th – 15th May and won Best Poster for her work on ‘Surface Engineering of Solid-State Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells’.

  • Professor Stuart Irvine will make the trek to Everest Base Camp at the beginning of March 2019 as part of a Brick Children School charity awareness and fundraising expedition. Not content with a 17 day round trek reaching an altitude of 5150 metres, Stuart will also be conducting some SPARC II experimental research. He’ll be measuring one of the Centre for Solar Energy Research groups thin-film cadmium telluride solar cells on ultrathin glass with the electronics and software provided by the University of Surrey. This data will complement that of the CubeSat mission https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_5AFwxnNxAU  currently orbiting the earth with an analogous solar cell on board.

  • February 2019 CSER’s Dr Giray Kartopu has started his new British Council Newton Fund project: Solar Energy Enabled Electricity Generation via High-Performance CZT/Si Tandem Cells. This project is in collaboration with Middle East Technical University, Turkey and will help to revolutionize the PV industry in Turkey by developing a new high efficiency, low-cost tandem photovoltaic (PV) solar cell structure.  
       
  • The CSER team began research on an Innovate UK project OTHELLO April 18. The project, which includes the Industry lead Palliser Engineers and Polysolar, will use thin film Cadmium Telluride solar panels to capture infrared frequencies, which will then be concentrated to provide energy for heating and cooling https://www.theengineer.co.uk/solar-panels-power/

  • EPRSC have approved funding of a proposal from Associate Professor Matt Carnie of the Materials Hub. The project entitled Self-Powered Interfaces and Interactions via Photovoltaic Surfaces will run for 3 years in partnership with Swansea University’s Computer Science department.

  • Dr Petar Igic has won Innovate UK funding for the project Compound Semiconductor Magnetic Integrated Circuits  (CS-MAGIC).

  • SPARC II research featured in BBC Radio Wales Science Café programme

  • WEFO make SPARC II Operation funding announcement
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
Email: d.a.lamb@Swansea.ac.uk

Staff

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

Professor Lijie Li

Dr Senthooran Balasubramaniam

Dr Khue Tian Lai

Dr Nafiseh Badiei

Dr Grazia Todeschini

Dr Saqib Rafique

Dr Han Huang

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

Dr Anita Brady-Boyd

Mr John Tomes

Chemistry Engineering Materials Environment Group, Swansea University

Professor Peter Holliman

Dr Rosie Anthony

Dr Leo Furnell

Dr Arthur Connell

Dr Eurig Jones

Dr Chris Kershaw

Dr Antony Lewis

Electronic Engineering, Bangor University

Dr Jeff Kettle

Dr Priyanka Tyagi

Dr Iestyn Pierce

Dr James Wang

Dr Roger Giddings

Dr Noel Bristow

Mr Tudur Wyn David

Materials Hub, Swansea University

Associate Professor Dr Matt Carnie

Professor Trystan Watson

Dr Adam Pockett

Dr Suzanne Thomas 

Publications

SPARC II Staff papers –

Rafique, Saqib., Roslan, Nur Adilah., Abdullah, Shahino Mah., Li, Lijie., Supangat, Azzuliani., Jilani, Asim. & Iwamoto, Mitsumasa. (2019). UV- ozone treated graphene oxide/ PEDOT:PSS bilayer as a novel hole transport layer in highly efficient and stable organic solar cells. Organic Electronics 66, 32-42.

Deng, Shuo., Zhang, Yan. & Li, Lijie. (2019). Study on electronic and optical properties of the twisted and strained MoS2/PtS2 heterogeneous interface. Applied Surface Science 476, 308-316.

Deng, Shuo., Cai, Xiang., Zhang, Yan. & Li, Lijie. (2019). Enhanced thermoelectric performance of twisted bilayer graphene nanoribbons junction. Carbon

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  https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/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 http://aip.scitation.org/doi/full/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. Irvine “Effects 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‐doped 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

James D.McGettrick, Katherine Hooper, Adam Pockett, Jenny Baker, Joel Troughton, Matthew Carnie, Trystan Watson, Sources of Pb(0) artefacts during XPS analysis of lead halide perovskites, Materials Letters, Volume 251, 15 September 2019, Pages 98-101

Adam Pockett, Dimitrios Raptis, Simone M. P. Meroni, Jenny Baker, Trystan Watson, Matthew Carnie, Origin of Exceptionally Slow Light Soaking Effect in Mesoporous Carbon Perovskite Solar Cells with AVA Additive, J. Phys. Chem. C2019, 123, 18, 11414-11421

Phil Calado, Dan Burkitt, Jizhong Yao, Joel Troughton, Trystan M. Watson, Matt J. Carnie, Andrew M. Telford, Brian C. O’Regan, Jenny Nelson, and Piers R.F. Barnes, Identifying Dominant Recombination Mechanisms in Perovskite Solar Cells by Measuring the Transient Ideality Factor, Phys. Rev. Applied, 11, 044005 – Published 2 April 2019

Benjamin Smith, Joel Troughton, Anthony Lewis, James McGettrick, Adam Pockett, Matthew Carnie, Cecile Charbonneau, Cameron Pleydell‐Pearce, Justin Searle, Paul Warren, Su Varma, Trystan Watson, Mass Manufactured Glass Substrates Incorporating Prefabricated Electron Transport Layers for Perovskite Solar Cells, Advanced Materials Interfaces, Vol 6, Issue 6, 2019, 1801773

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

University

Research Expertise

CSER

Swansea

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

ESDC

Swansea

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

Materials Hub

Swansea

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

Physics

Aberystwyth

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.

Chemistry

Swansea

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

Electronic Engineering

Bangor

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

 

Work Package

Description

WP1

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

WP2

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

WP3

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

WP4

Smart Power electronics for PV applications

WP5

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