Author Archives: Emma Dawson

SuperSolar/PVSAT Conference 2021

Colleagues from CSER will be attending the SuperSolar/PVSAT Conference 2021 conference which is being held from the 8th-10th June 2021.

SuperSolar and PVSAT have combined for their annual conference, online in 2021. Spread over morning and afternoon sessions on three consecutive days, featuring session keynotes from world leading researchers in photovoltaic technologies. Our very own Prof. Stuart Irvine is the keynote speaker for the afternoon session on the 1st day on ‘How to get .25% Efficient CdTe Solar Cells’.

To register for this free event, please visit: 

Swansea University CSER Wales Coastal Path Virtual Walk

Our small team from Swansea University’s Centre for Solar Energy Research are endeavouring to “virtually” walk the Wales Coast Path/ Llwybr Arfordir Cymru. The target is to cover the 1400 km over 8-weeks by counting each team members km’s of activity each week. Please help us to support Macmillan during these challenging times for charity fund raising.

SPARC II extension

We are pleased to announce that the SPARC II project which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund has been extended until March 2023.

This extension will enable the team to expand this research capability to take on new challenges such as new solar technology to charge electric vehicles, power remote sensors and enable a new generation of more efficient solar conversion devices.

For further information, please visit




Covid-19 and CSER

Following government direction with regards to Covid-19, all of the CSER staff are working remotely from home and are still contactable. Please visit the ‘People’ section to find the right contact for your query. If you are unsure, please contact Emma Dawson-Parry on who will be able to field your enquiry to the right person.

Stay safe.

Innovative Photonics in Wales conference

  • OpTIC Centre, N. Wales, 05th March 2020. SPARC II is partnering with The Welsh Optoelectronics Forum, the Centre for Photonics Expertise and ASTUTE 2020 (Advanced Manufacturing) to bring together an event which will showcase real world applications of photonics and where technologies are impacting businesses today. Please see for more details and free registration.

MOVPE Book Published

We are excited to announce that a new book on MOVPE has just been published:

For more information on this, please visit:

Giray Kartopu to present at the Enlighten Conference, Coventry

Dr. Giray Kartopu will be attending and presenting at the Enlighten Conference. His talk entitled ‘Advances in CdTe thin film photovoltaics enabled by MOCVD’ will take place on Wednesday 9th October at 11:50am at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.

For further information, please visit the following links: –

Dr Giray Kartopu

Thin Film & Coating Technologies for Science & Industry



Researchers from CSER will be attending the next PVSAT-15 conference to be held in University of Warwick on the 10th-12th April 2019.

On the first day, Dr. Giray Kartopu will deliver a talk on ‘All laser processed CdTe monolithic mini-modules deposited by MOCVD’.

On day two, Dr. Andrew Clayton will be talking about ‘Development of chemical vapour deposition fabrication of perovskites for photovoltaics’.

On the last day, Ralph Hall will be telling us about his research into ‘Near-IR Transparent Back Contact for CdTe Thin Film Photovoltaics’.

We will also have some posters to view in the Poster Sessions:

‘Developing an effective activation process for ZnTe:As back contact for CdTe solar cells’ Ochai Oklobia, Giray Kartopu, and Stuart J.C. Irvine.

‘CdTe solar cells on flexible ultra-thin glass substrates produced by MOCVD: bending test, residual stress and PV performance’ A.C. Teloeken, D.A. Lamb, M.A. Baker, R. Grilli and S.J.C. Irvine

For more information or to register to attend this conference please visit

Prof Irvine treks to Everest Base Camp

Professor Stuart Irvine will make the trek to Everest Base Camp at the beginning of March 2019 as part of a Brick Children School charity awareness and fundraising expedition. Not content with a 17 day round trek reaching an altitude of 5150 metres, Stuart will also be conducting some SPARC II experimental research. He’ll be measuring one of the Centre for Solar Energy Research groups thin-film cadmium telluride solar cells on ultrathin glass with the electronics and software provided by the University of Surrey. This data will complement that of the CubeSat mission  currently orbiting the earth with an analogous solar cell on board.

British Council Newton Fund Project Awarded

This February, Dr Giray Kartopu has started his new British Council Newton Fund project: Solar Energy Enabled Electricity Generation via High-Performance CZT/Si Tandem Cells. This project is in collaboration with Middle East Technical University, Turkey and will help to revolutionize the PV industry in Turkey by developing a new high efficiency, low-cost tandem photovoltaic (PV) solar cell structure.


Researchers from CSER will present their work at the 14th Photovoltaic Science, Applications and Technology conference, 18th – 20th April, 2018, Imperial College, London


BBC Science Cafe – Solar Technology

This weeks BBC Science Cafe sees Adam Walton exploring the latest technology to harvest the power of the sun, including the search for more sustainable materials to be used in the manufacture of solar cells.

Adam visited the OpTIC Centre in St Asaph, home to Swansea University’s Centre for Solar Energy Research, where he chats to Professor Stuart Irvine about the SPARC II project –  a collaboration between Swansea, Bangor and Aberystwyth universities, which provides five years funding aimed at addressing the key challenges of developing next generation solar photovoltaic technology. To listen to the interview, please follow this link:

PVSAT-13 update

CSER was well presented at this years PVSAT-13 which took place in Bangor during the 5th – 7th April 2017. The conference gave the SPARC II team an excellent opportunity to disseminate results from the SPARC II Project to a wider audience where the latest advances in UK research and development are presented and discussed.

The SPARC II Operation director, Professor Stuart Irvine gave a well received oral presentation on ‘New Mechanism in proton irradiated CdTe solar cells revealed by SCAPS modelling.’

Dr. Dan Lamb also gave an oral presentation discussing the ‘First flight test of a Thin Film Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) Solar cell on cover glass in space’.

On the final day, Dr. Giray Kartopu presented his findings on ‘Development of ZnO/CdS/CdTe core-shell nanorod-based solar cells with an extremely thin absorber’.

If you wish to know more about our current research, please contact us via our contacts page.

Funding approved for the SPARC II project

We are pleased to report that the funding (£5m) for SPARC II (Solar Photovoltaic Academic Research Consortium) has been approved by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) and provides underpinning funding for a collaboration of 6 research teams across the Universities of Swansea, Aberystwyth and Bangor. Please see below the links for the official WEFO SPARC II project funding announcement along with the Swansea University announcement.

Dr. Ralph Hall

SPARC II Research Officer

Dr. Ralph Hall is a Swansea University SPARC II researcher currently working on CdTe-based solar cell technology, focused on the development of back contacts, including infrared transparent back contacts.  Ralph Hall has worked on many different compound semiconductor materials. He joined the Centre for Solar Energy Research in 2018 on an InnovateUK project, OTHELLO, on utilising near-infrared radiation transmitted through infrared transparent solar cells for heating working fluids in heat engines. CSER’s role in OTHELLO was developing back contacts for CdTe cells and comparing potential performance with other solar cell technologies.

Following a BSc degree in physics from the University of Edinburgh, he received a PhD from the University of St Andrews (1989) on deep levels in III-V and II-VI semiconductors. He worked for the Royal Signals and Radar Establishment, Malvern, UK (which became QinetiQ Ltd.) until 2010. His main work was on characterisation of narrow gap semiconductor devices and materials made from mercury cadmium telluride and indium antimonide, and their applications including infrared imaging. This included an understanding of materials growth and characterisation, device fabrication and characterisation, and integration with electronic and optical systems. Four patents were granted from this work. From 2011 to 2013 he worked in Estonia on commercial kesterite photovoltaic development (crystalsol OU/Gmbh). From 2013 to 2017 he worked on industrial applications of precision electrical characterisation of CMOS materials (eoSemi Ltd.).

CSER’s space solar cell featured in BBC Radio Wales Science Cafe, 25th October

This weeks BBC Radio Wales Science Cafe episode featured Adam Walton interviewing CSER’s own Dr Dan Lamb. Dan discussed some of the challenges the CSER team faced building a space worthy experiment and announced the first data transmitted back from solar cell experiment showed it to be performing well. BBC Radio Wales Science Cafe

BBC Radio Wale's Adam Walton with CSER's Dan Lamb

BBC Radio Wales Adam Walton with CSER’s Dan Lamb


British Science Festival 2016

Dr. Dan Lamb is presenting at this years British Science Festival which is taking place at Swansea University during the 6th – 9th September. Dan’s talk will take place on Friday 9th September at 12:00-13:00 in lecture theatre K in the Faraday Building.

Intro: On Earth, solar power is a promising renewable energy source but solar cells were originally developed to power the satellites orbiting our planet. Now, initiatives such as Space Based Solar Power and Lunar and Martian Bases are driving the need for a new type of solar cell. Join Dan Lamb to find out about his work developing ultra-lightweight solar cells that are being tested in the UK Space Agency’s CubeSat mission this summer.

For further information on the British Science Festival, please visit:

CSER – Swansea University

The Centre for Solar Energy Research (CSER) has recently joined the College of Engineering in Swansea University. CSER will still be based at the OpTIC Centre on the St Asaph Business Park.

Prof. Stuart Irvine said ‘this is a very exciting opportunity for CSER to link with major projects at Swansea University and to provide a greater range of expertise to the PV Industry.’

CSER presented at PVSAT-12

CSER made an excellent representation at this years premier UK photovoltaics conference PVSAT-12 which took place between April 6th and April 8th at the University of Liverpool.

Dr. Dan Lamb delivered a talk on ‘Preparation of CdTe PV on ultra-thin space cover glass for flight testing on the AlSat-Nano satellite mission’.  For further information, please contact

Dr. Andrew Clayton delivered a talk on ‘Investigation of Cl treatment for MOCVD-SnS thin film solar cells’. For further information, please contact

Dr. Giray Kartopu delivered a talk on ‘Improvement of CdZnS/CdTe Solar cells via use of a highly-resistive ZnO transparent buffer layer’.  For further information, please contact

The SOLCER house featured in the September issue of Materials World

Professor Stuart Irvine featured in a recent Materials World magazine article (3 Sep 2015), commenting on the carbon-positive home developed under the Smart Operation for a Low Carbon Energy Region (SOLCER) project.  This was a LCRI funded project that CSER participated in and that investigated ‘smart operation’ of energy supply, storage and demand systems in Wales.

Prof Irvine and Dr Clayton attend the E-MRS conference

Professor Stuart Irvine and Dr Andrew Clayton attended the  2015 E-MRS Fall Meeting and Exhibit held in Warsaw University of Technology.  Stuart gave a very well received invited talk entitled  “Ultra-thin glass: the ideal superstrate for thin film PV”. The main theme of Stuart’s talk was that reducing cost of PV can be achieved through: improved module efficiency, manufacturing volume, yield and materials reduction.  This is an area that the team at CSER are busy researching.

CSER to present at the UK Space Conference

Dr Dan Lamb will represent CSER at the UK Space Conference July 14th.  Held every two years, the UK Space Conference is the unmissable gathering for the entire UK space community; bringing together the space industry, users of space-based services, entrepreneurs, academia and government.  CSER will be in attendance as part of the Wales country stand (B32, D29, D30) the Arena & Convention Centre, Liverpool.

“Materials for Energy” of EUROMAT

Professor Stuart Irvine is the Symposium organiser for Symposium E1.1 “Materials for Energy” of EUROMAT 2015, Warsaw, Poland 20-24 September 2015. He will attend the EUROMAT conference which has been held every two years since 1989, and which have an increased record of bringing together up to 2000 researchers, scientists, trainees, and students from both academia and industry to discuss critical developments and perspectives in the field of materials science and technology and their applications.

Professor Stuart Irvine will attend the E-MRS Fall Conference in Warsaw, Poland 15-18 September 2015

Professor Stuart Irvine will attend the E-MRS Fall Conference in Warsaw, Poland 15-18 September 2015, invited talk entitled: “Ultra-thin glass: the ideal superstrate for thin film PV?”. The E-MRS Fall Meeting draws an audience from around 50 countries each year. Representing quality and quantity, this audience comprises key decision-makers involved in the field of materials research.

UK Space Conference 2015

Dr Dan Lamb will attend the UK Space Conference, July 13-15th, Arena & convention centre Liverpool.  Held every two years, the UK Space Conference is the unmissable gathering for the entire UK space community; bringing together the space industry, users of space-based services, entrepreneurs, academia and government.  CSER will present a poster based on the Thin Film Solar Cell payload currently being developed for the UK Space Agency’s next satellite mission.  CSER’s work will be presented alongside other Wales Academic Space Partnership (WASP) work.

Dr. Ana Teloeken

SPARC II Research Officer ana

Ana did her PhD in Engineering in the area of Materials Science and Technology and has been in the research of thin films coatings for 5 years. She worked as a PDR at Swansea University, which was a co-operation project between Brazil and UK, funded by the Brazilian government but carried out in Wales. During this time her research was on PV technologies, developing different perovskite cells, such as lead chloride, lead iodide and lead bromide; evaluating the stability and performance of these materials. She has experience in renewable energy including photocatalytic hydrogen production and photovoltaic solar cell, having significant experience in the synthesis and characterization of semiconductor thin film materials. Her interests include thin films photovoltaic (PV), Metal Organic Chemical Vapor Deposition (MOCVD), characterization of PV devices and transparent conducting oxides (TCOs).

Dr Ochai Oklobia, MIET, MInstP.

SPARC II Research Officer

Ochai completed his PhD in Electrical/Electronic Engineering in the area of Organic semiconductor Photovoltaic technology. He worked as a research assistant at Staffordshire University; on newly developed solution-processed low band gap polymeric semiconductors for PV applications, and developing novel fabrication techniques for enhancing device performance. Current research interests include structural, and optoelectronic characterisation, optimisation of thin film solar cells, by metal organic chemical vapour deposition (MOCVD). He is also involved in process development for thin film PV scale up methods.

Michelle Davies

SPARC II Finance Officer

Michelle joined SPARC II as the Finance Officer in 2019. Michelle started her financial career at Swansea University back in the 90’s, she then worked at various companies including Sony UK Ltd where she worked as a financial accountant and the Wales Audit Office as a financial auditor auditing public spending money.

In 2019, Michelle returned to Swansea University and joined the SPARC II team. Her role includes collating, evaluating and reporting data to the SPARC II project sponsors, project manager and project instigators, preparing and maintaining financial records for audit activities and preparing and uploading quarterly financial claims to WEFO.

CSER’s Dr Dan Lamb attended a critical design review meeting at SSC

The Centre for Solar Energy Research (CSER) is making excellent progress towards delivery of its Thin Film Solar Cell demonstrator to the UK Space Agency.  CSER’s Dr Dan Lamb attended a critical design review meeting at the Surrey Space Centre where some of the finer details of the Thin Film Solar Cell payload where worked through.  The UK Space Agency’s Satellite programme is committed to a tight time schedule with delivery of CSER’s payload to the CubeSat manufactures by September 2015 and launch to take place spring 2016.  Once the Thin Film Solar Cell is in orbit its performance will be systematically measured and the data beamed down to mission control at the Surrey Space Centre.  The CubeSat is expected to generate data for at least one year which will be invaluable for producing high quality publications, securing further funding for the research and promoting Glyndŵr University’s contribution to space science.


Dr Dan Lamb (3rd from right) representing Glyndŵr University along with members of the satellite build team from the Surrey Space Centre.

CSER attend EW MOVPE 2015

Professor Stuart Irvine and Dr Vincent Barrioz will represent CSER at the 2015 European MOVPE conference workshop in Lund, Sweden, June 07-10th .  The workshop will consist of eight invited plenary talks and contributed poster presentations. All aspects of MOVPE are of relevance, with a special emphasis on the science of MOVPE.  Dr Barrioz will give an invited talk entitled “A route to inline MOCVD of flexible, high specific power CdTe solar cells”.


Bright Lights and Engineering

Tuesday 16th June, 2015, 09.00 – 16.00, The OpTIC Centre, St Asaph LL17 0JD

The KTN, the Engineering and Science Group North Wales, OpTIC Glyndŵr University and the Welsh Opto-electronics Forum will show in this event how light is used in engineering applications as well as showcase innovations in Wales where light is used in manufacturing. 

Delegates are invited from industry academic and professional institutions as well as the graduates, students and the general public. 

There will be a display area for pull ups, tabletops, demonstrations, please contact if you would like to book a place.

CSER’s Dr Dan Lamb will present a talk on “Space Application Thin Film Solar Arrays” at

This event is free of charge however pre-booking is essential on:

CSER staff to attend PVSAT-11

CSER will make an excellent representation at this years premier UK photovoltaics conference PVSAT-11 April 15-17 th.  Professor Stuart Irvine will deliver a talk “The potential for further reduction in the embodied carbon in PV solar energy systems”.  Dr Andy Clayton will talk on “A new approach to  SnS thin film PV using MOCVD” and Dr Giray Kartopu will speak on “Comparative study of  conventional vs. one-step-interconnected (OSI) monolithic CdTe modules”.  Dr Dan Lamb will present a poster “Preparation of a Thin Film CdTe Solar Cell for Flight Testing on a Satellite”.

CSER Secures Place on UK Space Agency’s Next CubeSat mission

The Centre for Solar Energy Research (CSER) has been selected to take part in the UK Space Agency’s next CubeSat mission.  The AlSat Nano is a joint space mission between the UK Space Agency and Algerian Space Agency (ASAL).  CSER’s successful selection, following a presentation to the UK Space Agency in Swindon by Dr Dan Lamb (project leader), offers a fantastic opportunity to “flight test” their innovative Thin Film Solar Cell.  The programme is committed to a tight time schedule with delivery of CSER’s payload to the CubeSat manufactures by September 2015 and launch to take place spring 2016.  Once the Thin Film Solar Cell is in orbit its performance will be systematically measured and the data beamed down to mission control at the Surrey Space Centre.  The CubeSat is expected to generate data for at least one year which will be invaluable for producing high quality publications, securing further funding for the research and promoting Glyndŵr University’s contribution to space science.

New Book Published: Materials Challenges: Inorganic Photovoltaic Solar Energy

Professor Stuart Irvine, CSER has edited a new book, “Materials Challenges: Inorganic Photovoltaic Solar Energy” published by the Royal Society of Chemistry. The idea for the book came from the Photovoltaic (PV) SUPERGEN project which was a collaboration of UK Universities to carry SI Materials Challenge bookout ground breaking research in thin films for PV solar energy. PV SUPERGEN was a £10m funded project which was led by Professor Irvine from 2004 to 2012. It was felt that a book would provide a legacy to capture some of the exciting research and new developments, providing a stimulus for future research. Many of the chapters have been authored by members of the PV SUPERGEN team and also contributors from CSER, Dr Vincent Barrioz and Dr Andrew Clayton. International contributions came from the world leading National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the USA and from Universidad Politecnica de Valencia in Spain. “This has been a rewarding experience and provides an authoritative work on the many research challenges in thin film PV that is very much at the core of research in CSER at Glyndwr University” said Professor Irvine.