Our Research

This laboratory hosts an active group of interdisciplinary and driven researchers, working on materials for integrated circuits and optoelectronic devices. The overarching aim of our research is to develop the new understanding, materials, and manufacturing processes required to improve the performance of future photovoltaic and electronic devices. Our focus of research lies on the charge dynamics at, and across metal-dielectric and dielectric-semiconductor interfaces. Such interfaces are fundamental to the operation of most devices. 

This young group was established in 2019 by Dr Ruy Sebastian Bonilla. It brings together the world-leading work in silicon photovoltaics carried out by the Semiconductors group (led by Prof Peter Wilshaw), with a new research area on applied dielectric materials and interfaces. Together, both groups cover a breadth of expertise in semiconductors and solid state physics, the processing and manufacture of photovoltaics cells, the science of functional dielectrics, and the materials interfaces essential to new electronic devices. 

Dielectric materials possess a large range of functions inside electronic devices. As the size of such devices continues to reduce, a larger part of the charge transport processes occurs at the interfaces between dielectrics and semiconductors. This has made such interfaces extremely important as they are now limiting, or in cases governing the operation of devices. For example, the development of 2D semiconductors and fin-FETs has brought new challenges in the interfaces of electronic materials. These include the charge flow through defect states, the resistance and charge loss at metal contacts, and the difficulty in doping such small semiconductors. Our goal is to develop the new material systems required to tackle such challenges. We use new methods of thin film charging and interface engineering to tailor the electrical characteristics of the interfaces, improve device performance, and exploit new materials.

The links on the right will take you to our 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 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.