Sebastian received a Bachelor's degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Universidad de los Andes, Colombia, 2008. He later interned for the CERN in Geneva, Switzerland, 2008, and for Asylum Research, 2009. He completed an MPhil degree in Micro and Nanotechnology at the University of Cambridge, UK in 2010. He was a lecturer in Electronics at Universidad de los Andes in 2010-2011. He later completed a Doctorate in Materials in the Semiconductors Group funded by a Clarendon Scholarship, 2015, researching novel methods to maximise surface passivation for silicon solar cells. After, he was awarded an EPSRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to deepen the understanding and advance industrial deployment of new methods of silicon surface passivation which he held 2015-2018. At the same time he became Junior Research Fellow at Wolfson College, Oxford, holding his JRF until 2021. From 2019 he is a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow in the Oxford Materials Department. From 2021 he is an Associate Professor of Materials at the Materials Department, and a Stipendiary Lecturer in Materials Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. From 2022 he is a Hugh Price Research Fellow at Jesus College Oxford.
He has made major contributions to the field of functional thin films and silicon photovoltaics including the first report of stable and controllable K ion-charged SiO2 nanolayers which he patented and exploited in solar cell architectures. He also investigated mechanisms of surface losses in solar cells and demonstrated world record processing to minimise loss. He contributed to the fundamental understanding of Si-SiO2 and Si-TiOx interfaces, and demonstrated world record passivation in SiO2-Si, SiNx/SiO2-Si, and amorphous(α)-Si/Si interfaces. These interfaces are crucial to the operation of solar and electrochemical devices and have set out the basis for multiple grant proposals and collaborations with leading international institutes. He has also been involved in the discovery a new way of incorporating hydrogen into silicon. Overall, his team's work has greatly benefitted the global solar energy community both academic and industrial, including passivation nanolayers, benchmarks for charged thin films, cell processing advances, and understanding of degradation in commercial solar cells.
He leads the Interface and Electronic Materials Laboratory hosting >15 scientists and researching a variety of electronic interface materials crucial to the operation of solar photovoltaic and optoelectronic devices. He has been involved in raising >£3.6m in funding, out of which >£2m has been as PI. The excellence and international leadership of my research is shown by a sustained and well-regarded publication record, including some of the highest calibre and most respected journals in solar energy materials. His team's work has twice been featured in PV-Magazine.com demonstrating its industrial relevance. The achievement and exceptional promise of my research has been recognised with a 2022 Philip Leverhulme Prize in Engineering. He is also an Europe Fellow at the International Strategy Forum by Schmidt Futures – a philanthropic initiative aimed at creating a network of rising leaders to strengthen progress and security amid technological innovation.