Professor Watson's research area is thin film printed PV with a specialism in developing new technologies for the manufacture of novel photovoltaics including deposition and curing processes and their characterisation using electrochemistry, photochemistry or optoelectronic methods
At present there is a renaissance in thin film printed photovoltaics and typically these developments currently reside in the laboratory environment. Professor Watson's research goal is to take these material sets and develop the manufacturing pipeline for fabrication at scale. A three pronged approach is employed to achieve this end (i) determination of loss mechanisms associated with scale – decreases in performance when increasing from lab scale to pilot scale. (ii) Addressing process bottlenecks to reduce fabrication time (iii) Architectural translation - ensuring the widest range of substrates by building devices on sheet processed glass and roll to roll metal or plastic
In particular his research activity entails coating and curing of photoactive materials, lab and sub-module scale manufacture of PV devices as well as characterisation of photoactive materials both via electrochemical and optoelectronic methods. The research stretches across a number of different technologies: liquid based dye-sensitized solar cells, solid state dye-sensitized solar cells, organolead halide perovskites and more recently kesterite CZTS (Cu2ZnSnS4).