Research interests are focused on the photochemistry of materials for use in photovoltaic applications. Currently looking at perovskite and dye-sensitised solar cell technologies. Also interested in colourimetric and fluorescent probes and sensors.

I was appointed as Senior Lecturer on the Sêr Cymru Solar initiative in 2014. Developing capabilities in the areas of photochemistry and PV device physics and stability and currently head the Photochemistry and Laser Spectroscopy group at SPECIFIC. Previously a SPECIFIC Technology Transfer Fellow in the research group of Dr Peter Holliman at the School of Chemistry, Bangor University, I am a co-inventor of a very successful method for the ultra-fast co-sensitization of DSSCs. I carried out his Ph.D studies between Swansea and the University of Coimbra, Portugal, looking at the photophysics/photochemistry of cationic conjugated polymers and how these polymers interact with DNA.

I am passionate about the promotion of science and the importance of developing renewable energy solutions. In 2013 I organised a large-scale, ambitious, outreach project across South Africa named “Catching the Light with the Rainbow Nation” which aimed to increase the popularity and understanding of chemistry. This involved a team of 16 scientists from the UK and Africa running scientific workshops for over 1000 children over two weeks across South Africa.

Publications

  1. & Sustainable energy storage for solar home systems in rural Sub-Saharan Africa – a comparative examination of lifecycle aspects of battery technologies for circular economy, with emphasis on the South African context. Energy
  2. & An effective approach of vapour assisted morphological tailoring for reducing metal defect sites in lead-free, (CH 3 NH 3 ) 3 Bi 2 I 9 bismuth-based perovskite solar cells for improved performance and long-term stability. Nano Energy 49, 614-624.
  3. & Green-Synthesis-Derived CdS Quantum Dots Using Tea Leaf Extract: Antimicrobial, Bioimaging, and Therapeutic Applications in Lung Cancer Cells. ACS Applied Nano Materials 1(4), 1683-1693.
  4. & Impact of Aggregation on the Photochemistry of Fullerene Films: Correlating Stability to Triplet Exciton Kinetics. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 9(27), 22739-22747.
  5. & Photoinduced charge transfer: from photography to solar energy. Science Progress 100(2), 212-230.

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Teaching

  • EG-D10 Team Project & Individual Dissertation

    The module is where this program ultimately culminates with the final development stages and realisation of a team based project (as defined at the recruitment stage) with individual aspects considered and assessed as a final dissertation submission. The nature of the dissertation will be dependent on the nature of the specialisation of the participant. During the period of this module, a preparatory period will be followed by participants spending (or utilising remote engineering techniques) a period of circa. 3 weeks in-country delivering the project, with support from academic team leads and other supporting staff, stakeholders or collaborators. This will be concluded with a debrief and final dissertation writing period.

  • EGCM10B MSc Research Practice

    A Masters level course to deliver knowledge and skills on how to write and submit scientific papers and reports. The course requires that the students prepare multiple reports focused on specific aspects involved in preparing a draft publication of journal quality. Research data is gathered and, subject to suitable data analysis, is used to write a draft publication. In addition to this, a graphical abstract for a highly cited paper in a relevant chosen field needs to be prepared, as does a letter to an editor. For the paper writing, data is gathered from laboratory based work and the students must analyse the data and write up the results as a suitable manuscript. They must make a reasoned choice of journal; then follow the format required by that specified journal and its instructions. They must present results appropriately and of the correct quality and then describe and discuss these. The students must also prepare a substantial literature survey (up to 5000 words) on a topic in chemical or biochemical engineering. The course is designed as such so there are multiple smaller assignments prior to the substantial literature review so students can learn and improve through the duration of the course.

  • EGSM07 Photochemistry of functional materials

    A postgraduate level course to deliver knowledge and skills on the basics of photochemistry, describing in detail the photochemistry of interesting materials such as LEDs, semiconductors and solar cells. The first topic, basic photochemical principles, gives an introduction to the key ideas which underpin how light interacts with matter. The absorption of light and routes of deactivation within a material are outlined. The importance of atomic and molecular orbitals and the bonding of molecular orbitals are introduced and their importance to materials properties is discussed. In particular; molecular excitons and the movement of charge, bonding interactions and electronic energy band structures in semiconductors is explained. Band theory of solids is one of the central topics of the course coupled with how bands and band gap energies can be tuned for materials applications (i.e. quantum dots). Inorganic thermochromic materials are given as an example of how the temperature can affect the energy band gap. A large part of the course then focuses on the photochemistry of photovoltaic devices. The course uses examples of specific inorganic materials to highlight the topics covered including: inorganic light emitting diodes, inorganic thermochromics, semi-conductors/semi-conductor quantum dots and organolead halide perovskites for photovoltaic applications. The materials described have applications in electronic materials and photovoltaic technologies.

  • EGSM17 Concept Development and Application Pt1

    The module is the first of two that involve the development, synthesis and application of scientific, engineering, personal, professional and project management skills to deliver an approach to a solution of the specific group and individual projects. It will require and develop self-organisation skills and the critical evaluation of options and results, as well as developing technical and specialist knowledge around sustainable engineering solutions in the project area. Ethics, stakeholder engagement and basic project planning skills will also be developed. This module is focused on literature review, relationship development and data gathering with project stakeholders based in the UK and remotely using various communication systems, and will enable students to develop their understanding of sustainable engineering solutions and options to address challenges in the local international environment.

  • EGSM20 Concept Development and Application Pt2

    The module is the second part of two that involve the application of personal, professional, project management and both ¿library¿ and field based research skills to develop an approach to the solution of the specific group and individual projects, The participant will gain experience in working independently and in a group on the team and individually assigned element of the project, utilising basic accepted planning procedures. This second part is ¿in-country¿ (field) based and will be approximately one week in duration. During this period, participants will gather field data through community engagement to ensure key stakeholder and end user requirements are met. Consideration will also be given to impact evaluation and monitoring and a revised project plan will be developed. It will require and develop self-organisation and the critical evaluation of options and results, as well as developing technical knowledge in the chosen topic, all in a ¿real¿ field environment.

  • EGSM23 Circular Economy and Sustainable Engineering

    The module has been designed to promote the role of circular economy and sustainable engineering within industry, commerce and society. It will equip graduates with the knowledge and skills to help industry and commerce to reduce their environmental impacts and support the objectives of sustainable development.

Supervision

  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    MSc
    Other supervisor: Dr Sagar Jain
  • The development and characterisation of 3D printer filament manufactured from polypropylene medical waste (current)

    Student name:
    MSc
    Other supervisor: Prof Richard Johnston
  • Transient Absorption Spectroscopy of Printable Photovoltaics (current)

    Student name:
    MSc
    Other supervisor: Mr Stoichko Dimitrov
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof James Durrant
  • Development of the Latest Generation of Prefinished Steels with a Clear Impermeable Coating (current)

    Student name:
    EngD
    Other supervisor: Dr Matthew Carnie
  • Improving the stability, aesthetics and performance of perovskite materials for photovoltaics. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Cecile Charbonneau
  • Unravelling the Photochemistry of Perovskite Materials for Photovoltaics (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof James Durrant
  • Untitled (current)

    Student name:
    EngD
    Other supervisor: Mr Rhys Charles
  • ''Encapsulation of solar cells'' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Dr Matthew Carnie