Our main research activities include;

  • Novel solar cell material development
  • Semiconductor coatings
  • Thin-film photovoltaics (PV)
  • Physical, chemical and electrical characterisation
  • Sensor design and development
  • Innovative high volume/in-line processing techniques

Current Research Projects

Doped Emitters to Unlock Lowest Cost Solar Electricity

This proposal brings fresh thinking to the front emitter layer that is widely recognised in the CdTe PV community as being the limiting factor in realising the potential of the arsenic doped CdTe and CdSeTe absorber layers. This is predicted to achieve over 25% cell efficiency and over 22% module efficiency. To achieve this goal we have put together a world leading team to work on a new n-type emitter layer. The teams at Swansea-CSER and Loughborough-CREST have combined expertise on As doping of the CdTe absorber layer along with sputter deposition of oxide layers. The world leading team includes project partners – Colorado State University (leading academic team in the USA), First Solar (leading thin film PV manufacturer) and NSG Pilkington (leading coated glass products for thin film PV).

This 3 year EPSRC proposal started on the 1st August 2021 and will run until 31st July 2024. For further information on this project, please contact Prof. Stuart Irvine (PI) at 

Solar Photovoltaic Academic Research Consortium (SPARC) IIERDF (002)

The funding (£7.2m) for SPARC II (Solar Photovoltaic 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. The purpose of this research funding is to build research capacity in solar photovoltaic research, to ensure that the SPARC II team can attract substantial competitive research funding that will enable new research partnerships for ground breaking research and lead to effective technology transfer in the future.

The SPARC II team cover a range of key expertise from power electronics through to synthesis of PV materials, devices and their characterisation. This is an exciting opportunity to build on past successes of inorganic thin film PV, Dye-sensitised Solar Cells (DSSC) and Perovskites. The SPARC I consortium has been expanded with the addition of Aberystwyth University Physics Department that brings a unique capability to make in situ measurements of fundamental film properties that will lead to more efficient and more robust solar cells.

For further information on this project, please contact Dr. Dan Lamb –

Completed Projects

Solar Energy Enabled Electricity Generation via High Performance CZT/Si Tandem Cells (SiZETSOLAR)

This collaborative British Council (Newton Fund) proposal will help to revolutionize the PV industry in Turkey by developing a new high efficiency, low cost tandem photovoltaic (PV) solar cell structure. A crystalline silicon bottom subcell and polycrystalline CdTe-based thin film solar cell for the top subcell will boost cell efficiency to 27% and module efficiency to 23%. SiZETSOLAR will focus on advancing industrially-relevant PV technologies; its objectives include demonstration of efficient and affordable PV, reaching a TRL of 5. This will provide key information allowing Turkey and UK to position themselves at the forefront of the next generation PV technologies.

For further information on this project, please contact Dr. Giray Kartopu –

Optical Transfer of Heat with Electrical and Light Output (OTHELLO)

OTHELLO is a UK collaboration, funded by EPSRC and the Department for International Development through Innovate UK, and is developing a system that can generate both electricity and high temperature heat from solar energy.

The proposal’s primary goal is to conduct the research to prove the viability of concentrating the Infra-Red (IR) frequencies that can be captured through thin film Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) solar panels, allowing industry to establish a route to market for combined PV and solar thermal (PVT) panels that co-generate electricity and high temperature heat. This development of an electrically and thermally efficient high temperature static PVT system will rapidly, at scale, address the energy trilemma.

>The primary objective is to use thin film CdTe’s outstanding ability to both efficiently and cost-effectively convert the shorter solar wavelengths to electricity, while leaving, as far as possible, longer wavelengths available to generate high temperatures through concentration.

>The secondary objective is to consider how modules could be configured to reduce manufacturing costs to facilitate rapid global rollout.

>The third objective is to consider to what extent the research would be applicable to Perovskite which has the potential to be efficient at similar wavelengths and with even lower costs.

For further information on this project, please visit:

If you would like to discuss this project, or need any more information, please contact Dr. Dan Lamb –


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