Working with us
Upon joining the Interfaces Lab you will be part of a dynamic, interdisciplinary research group working on a variety of electronic device materials. Most prominently we work on silicon solar cells, which currently account for over 90% of all currently manufactured devices. You will be involved in the development of state-of-the-art techniques for improving the electrical performance of these cells, while collaborating closely with world-leading solar research institutions at Fraunhofer ISE, Freiburg and the University of New South Wales, Sydney. You will be part of a close-knit group of diverse scientists, with several social events throughout the year, and with a mindful attitude towards life-work balance. We encourage our team not only enjoy the thrill and intelectual stimulation of science, but also the inspiring talks in humanities and social sciences, and the exhibitions and events available throughout Oxford.
The Lab ethos
Climate change has been identified as one of the defining challenges of the next 30 years. In order to move to a low-carbon future, and avoid the worst effects of anthropogenic climate change, continuing reductions in the cost of renewable energy and strong reductions in electricity use are required. One of the most important forms of renewable energy is photovoltaics, producing electricity from sunlight. Sunlight is freely available across the globe, and can be scaled from single panels for lighting in developing countries to rooftop installations for powering residential homes to utility-scale plants feeding megawatts of power into national electricity grids. The Interfaces Lab at Oxford Materials is working on ground-breaking methods to
(i) improve the performance of photovoltaics cells and other optoelectronic devices
(ii) reduce the cost of manufacturing solar panels.
(iii) provide solutions to the development of ultra-low power microprocessors and display electronics.
At the moment we do not have any postdoc vacancies.
If you are interested in applying to a Marie Curie or other independent fellowships, please get in touch with Sebastian.
Please see below, or Sebastian's Departmental page for information on DPhil projects. A description of the current group members is given in the Team page, and the focus of our research is explained in the Research page. Funding opportunities are advertised in the Departmental Website.
If you wish to contact us informally, please fill in this form and email Sebastian. We are happy to discuss projects and applications informally before you submit a formal application for a PhD in the Oxford Materials department. Please be advised filling the form is not a formal application to graduate studies, it is only an informal contact to Lab leader. If you wish to apply for a place to conduct a doctorate in the Department, you must submit a formal application throught the Oxford University applications system, before we can give you a decision.
Part II Projects
We are always interested to hear from undergraduates in Oxford Materials who would like to do a Part II project in the Interfaces Lab. Please see the Research page to obtain information on our areas of work, and feel free to contact Sebastian or Peter for enquires.
Internships and academic visitors
Every year we have a number of summer projecst that get filled in a first come first served basis. If you wish to be considered for this projects please fill in this form and email Sebastian.
Offered Doctoral Projects (Dept Webstite)
Exploiting the field-effect mechanism in 2D semiconductors
Supervisors: Dr RS Bonilla, Prof Peter Wilshaw
2D semiconductor materials, such as MoS2 and WS2, have enormous potential to impact the future development of flexible electronics, sensors, solar cells, and post-silicon microprocessors based in complimentary MOSFET logic. Many of the exciting electronic properties in these materials are strongly influenced by phenomena occurring at its interface to other materials, like metals or dielectrics. In this project, the field-effect mechanism displayed by such 2D semiconductors will be exploited to advance and further the performance of devices. 2D semiconductors produced by our collaborators will be used to design and manufacture devices, containing novel interfacial materials that allow tuning of their electronic properties. They will be characterised via advanced electron microscopy, scanning Kelvin Probe microscopy, impedance spectroscopy, and photoluminescence, and their properties tailored by controlling the synthesis of such interfacial layers. This project offers the opportunity to undertake ground-breaking research in the field of electronic and interface materials, involving chemistry, solid state physics, and device characterization.
Developing novel passivating and carrier selective contacts for next-generation photovoltaics
Supervisors: Dr RS Bonilla, Prof Peter Wilshaw
While conventional silicon solar cells are a strong technology, an overwhelming drawback is the use of very high doping in contacts and carrier separation layers. This prevents further increases in their power conversion efficiencies. Passivating carrier-selective contacts have been recently demonstrated using thin films. These materials can allow cell architectures that overcome the drawbacks of current technologies, and are potentially much more cost effective. In this project we aim to study and develop passivating selective contacts based thin interfacial films, including the device design and processing that enables their adoption and deployment in cell manufacture. This is required for both single junction silicon devices, and silicon tandem devices using potential III-V or Perovskite cells. The project will involve device simulation using Sentaurus TCAD, and synthesis using the Semiconductor fabrication facilities at the Materials Department. This project integrates into the Lab’s global aim to boost the future reductions in the cost of solar energy, which are required in the world to move to low-carbon electricity generation, and avoid the worst effects of anthropogenic climate change.