Our laboratory hosts an active group of interdisciplinary and driven researchers working on materials for optoelectronic devices and integrated circuits. The overarching aim of our research is to understand the interfaces between electronic materials, to develop new processing for advanced nanolayer materials, and to apply them to new and improved electronic, optical, electrochemical, and quantum devices. Applied interface materials are crucial to the operation of all electron devices. As sizes shrink, charge transport primarily occurs at materials interfaces, and the interface properties become the limiting factor governing device operation. We focus on the transport of electronic and ionic charges at and across interfaces, which are fundamental to the operation of most devices, from solar cells to transistors and ML microchips. Our research is supported through grants and funding from both the private and public sector, primarily from UK Research and Innovation. This financial backing allows our team to procure state-of-the-art equipment, hire skilled researchers, and pursue innovative projects that push the boundaries of electronic materials. There is a whole new area of science and engineering based on advanced interface materials for applied optoelectronic and energy devices, and we are working to be at the leading edge of these innovations. 

This young group was established in 2019 by Prof Ruy Sebastian Bonilla. It brings together our world-leading work in silicon photovoltaics with a new research area on the synthesis and processing of functional nanolayer materials. Our research programme is split into four areas of research centred around the understanding and exploitation of functional nanolayer materials. Our group has built unique strengths in harnessing new nanolayer functions to enhance and engineer advanced electronic devices. We have also deepened the understanding of charge dynamics across interfaces in electronic materials enabling the design better device architectures. Our four main areas of research are: (1) Field-effect devices, (2) Contacts and Electrodes, (3) Characterisation, Simulation and Design, and (4) Applied Nanomaterials. This research has broad application to three impact fields including (a) Applied Photovoltaic and Energy Devices, (b) Sustainable Manufacturing, and (c) Energy Efficient Computing. The relationship between our core research and areas of impact is pictured by the diagram on the right. 

The best-established area of our work is dedicated to improving the efficiency of solar energy devices, which will be central to our zero-carbon future. New and developing areas include electrodes, characterisation and simulation, and applied nanomaterials. Overall, our work seeks to improve the performance of solar cells and opto/nano electronic devices, to reduce the cost and exploit new materials manufacturing for sustainable energy systems, and to provide solutions in energy-efficient high-performance computing through quantum and neuromorphic technologies. 

Altogether, we cover a breadth of expertise in semiconductors and solid-state physics, the processing and manufacture of photovoltaic cells, the science of functional dielectrics, and the materials interfaces essential to new electronic devices. 

The links on the right will take you to our four major areas of research. 


To find out projects available in our lab please visit the Join Us page, or Sebastian's page in the Materials Dept website.

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 and 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 and improve the manufacturing processes solar panels,

(iii) exploit new materials and fabrications processes to ensure sustainable terawatt solar electricity, and

(iv) provide solutions to the development of ultra-low power computing architectures through quantum technologies and enhanced silicon microprocessors.  


research areas

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