Research Associate - Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

6 days left

University of Bristol
Bristol, United Kingdom
£33,797 - £38,017
Apr 21, 2021
May 14, 2021
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
The role

The PDRA will play a central role in developing the research programme set out by the SolPV network. The aim of this programme, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, is to design high performance Cd-free inorganic thin-film solar cells employing solution-based deposition methods. The PDRA will be working in the Bristol Electrochemistry and Solar Team led by Prof. David J Fermin in the School of Chemistry, as well as with Prof. Neil Fox and Prof. David Cherns in the School Physics. The PDRA will also be closely collaborating with project partners at the University of Northumbria, Loughborough University and the Centre for Process Innovation High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

What will you be doing?

The key role of the PDRA is to engineer the surface structure of the solar absorber, Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 and Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 , as well as the junction with the buffer layer in prototype PV devices. The strategy will be underpinned by an Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) tool specifically procured for this programme. The PDRA will be responsible for running the ALD systems, coordinating activities with other PDRAs and PhD students within SolPV, as well as liaising with staff in key facilities in the Faculty of Science including X-Ray Diffraction Suite, Electron Microscopy Suite, NanoESCA laboratory and the Interface Analysis Centre.

The key technical objectives of the programme include:
  • To implement and optimise solution-processing of inorganic semiconductor thin-films
  • To design strategies and protocols for depositing ultrathin buffer layer by ALD
  • To investigate the structure and electronic properties of active semiconductor heterojunctions
  • To establish correlation between the heterojunction structure and PV performance
  • To work in collaboration with project partners and the Centre for Process Innovation Catapult
  • To prepare regular oral and written reports including peer-review publications, technical conferences and public dissemination.

The PDRA will also be responsible for
  • Operation and maintenance of the ALD system
  • Organising regular on-line and on-site meetings with project partners
  • Reporting to the principal investigators
  • Supporting research activities in the group, including training of MSc and PhD students
  • Dissemination of activities to the general public and outreach activities

You should apply if

The PDRA should have expertise in the area of inorganic semiconductor materials, thin-films and atomic layer deposition. Experience in inorganic thin-film photovoltaics is highly desirable but not essential.

  • PhD in Chemistry, Physics or Material Sciences
  • Experience in preparation and characterisation of inorganic semiconductor materials
  • Hands-on experience on atomic layer deposition (as demonstrated by publications or technical reports)
  • Experience on characterisation techniques, such as X-ray diffraction, electron microscopy, Raman spectroscopy and photoemission spectroscopy (as demonstrated by data in publications or technical reports)
  • Strong track record of publications in peer-reviewed journals in relation to career stage

  • Formal training on solid state materials and/or photovoltaic science and technology
  • Experience at undergraduate, PhD or postdoctoral levels on the following topics:
  1. Design and characterisation of inorganic thin-film PV devices
  2. Solution-based thin-film deposition methods (spin coating, bar coating, spray)
  3. Quantitative structure refinement of X-ray diffraction and x-ray absorption data

Hands-on experience on UHV techniques such as X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy, UV photoemission spectroscopy and scanning probe microscopy

We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBT+ and BAME communities, to join us.

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