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Research Leads

Professor Matt Carnie
Photovoltaic Materials, Thermoelectrics and Device Physics Lead

Academic Papers

Matt’s research broadly encompasses Energy Materials & Devices in two main areas – photovoltaics and thermoelectrics.


As part of the SPECIFIC-IKC, Sêr Solar, and SPARC II research projects, Matt’s research area focuses on solution processed photovoltaic materials and device physics. Matt’s PV research group utilizes frequency domain techniques such as Impedance Spectroscopy or Intensity Modulated Photovoltage Spectroscopy (IMVS); or time resolved measurements such as Transient Photovoltage / Photocurrent Decay and photo-CELIV, to characterize carrier transport, recombination and mobility in photovoltaic devices, with a particular interest in quantifying loss mechanisms when increasing device size from lab scale to pilot scale, and in the characterization of degradation mechanisms.

Two new projects started in mid-2018. One develops ultra-light weight flexible tandem silicon/perovskite solar cells in collaboration with IQE plc. The second is a collaboration between Materials Engineering and Computer Science to develop the next generation of novel perovskite powered IoT devices.

Thermoelectrics - Matt leads SPECIFIC’s newest research activity on novel solution processable thermoelectric materials and devices, focusing on organic and hybrid materials.
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Dr Jenny Baker
Electrical Energy Storage Research Lead

Academic Papers

Jenny is the electrical storage lead for SPECIFIC working on storage solutions for non-mobile applications including flow cells, lithium-ion and sodium ion batteries.

Prior to academia she worked in aerospace manufacturing (at both Rolls-Royce and VSMPO-Avisma) for 12 years developing processing routes to enable a circular economy for aerospace grade titanium and brings this expertise into her research on sustainable manufacturing.

After returning to academia Jenny undertook a PhD in the printing graphene catalysts for dye sensitized solar cells within the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating. Before setting up the electrochemical storage team Jenny developed manufacturing processes for solid state perovskite photovoltaics.

Sustainable materials processing for solid state electronic devices for energy applications | Techno-economic and life cycle assessment of energy generation and storage technologies for non-mobile applications
Areas of Interest
Professor Matthew Davies
Applied Photochemistry and Circular Economy Lead

Academic Papers

Professor Matthew Davies is head of the Applied Photochemistry Group in the SPECIFIC IKC, Materials Research Centre, College of Engineering at Swansea University. Matthew is an EPSRC Innovation Fellow, Fellow­­­ of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and Council Member of the Environment, Sustainability and Energy Division of the RSC.

His research is focused upon the photochemistry of materials that are useful for low-cost photovoltaic applications, with the ultimate aim of improving stability, light harvesting efficiency and performance. This mainly focuses on perovskite solar cells but also includes research into dye-sensitised solar cells­­­­ and organic photovoltaics.

Matthew is particularly interested in the characterisation of re-manufactured devices (“photochemistry/photophysics of the re-use of materials”) and developing materials and processes to enable re-use and re-manufacture within a circular economy to develop for the next generation of solar PV materials. He also has research on developing renewable energy solutions for rural Africa in collaboration with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa.

Photochemistry of printable photovoltaics | Physical chemistry | Materials chemistry | Circular economy | Distributed renewable energy systems for developing countries | E-waste
Areas of Interest
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Dr Jon Elvins
Thermal Heat Storage Research Lead

Academic Papers

Having spent twelve years managing research and product development projects within the steel industry, Jonathon is currently heading up the research team developing thermochemical storage materials and associated systems within SPECIFIC.

The research is focused upon the upscaling of thermochemical materials from small laboratory reactors through to systems capable of providing heat within large industrial units, with particular emphasis upon the material interaction and response with process parameters.

Jon is a member of the International Energy Agency Task 58 group contributing to the assessment of Thermochemical Storage materials. This role involves reporting back to BEIS on developments within the thermochemical storage field.

Thermochemical storage | Material characterisation | Coatings | Corrosion | Galvanising
Areas of Interest
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Dr Eifion Jewell
Industrial Coatings Research Lead

Academic Papers

Dr Eifion Jewell has a degree and PhD in mechanical engineering at Swansea University. He was a founder of the Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating (WCPC) specializing in the field of innovative manufacturing using printing and coating technologies.

He has also carried out extensive fostering of emerging technologies and nurtured commercial exploitation in printed flexible electronics through UK Knowledge Transfer Network. Eifion joined SPECIFIC in 2012, taking a lead role in developing the pilot manufacturing facilities and associated scientific capabilities.

He is currently Senior Lecturer in the College of Engineering, with responsibility for Welsh medium provision through the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol support programme. His research interests include functional coating materials and their characterization, deposition technologies for scalable manufacture of functional coated products and thermochemical storage.

Dr Justin Searle
Building Energy Systems Research Lead

Academic Papers

Having studied analytical chemistry at Swansea University, Justin went on to complete an engineering doctorate studying the photostability of PVC paints. His work involved the development of a rapid test for the assessment of photodegradation of coatings and their components, including assessing both the rate and the intermediate chemical species produced. Justin was also co-developer of Swansea’s 3-dimensional scanning vibrating electrode instrument (SVET), capable of investigating the corrosion processes occurring on non-planar samples such as welds and formed components.

On completion of his doctorate Justin worked within Tata Colors, at Shotton Works in Deeside. During his almost 10-year career in industry, he worked within the Technical Department, primarily looking at through process improvements for both galvanising and colorcoat lines.

Justin returned to work within SPECIFIC at the end of 2011. During his time at SPECIFIC he has developed automated solar cell testing equipment to increase the throughput of the characterisation of devices and also a system of examining the solar cell lifetime via an automated light soaker and IV tester. He has worked and collaborated across many of the research themes within SPECIFIC and for over 3 years Justin managed the technical relationship and project development for one of SPECIFIC’s strategic partners.

In 2016 he took on the role of Deputy Research Director, assuming responsibility for managing the research and development pipeline and team development working closely with the academics and technologists to define research targets and strategic planning. In 2018, Justin took on the role of Technology Director leading the technical delivery teams for buildings, systems integration and technology demonstration, responsible for technology demonstration and delivery at building scale.
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Dr Wing Chung Tsoi
Organic Photovoltaics and Perovskites Lead

Academic Papers

Dr Wing Chung Tsoi is a Senior Research Officer at SPECIFIC, Swansea University. He obtained his PhD in Physics at The University of Hull (UK). After that, he worked at Sheffield University, Imperial College London and National Physical Laboratory (UK).

Tsoi is leading a group on organic and perovskite photovoltaic cells, with a particular interest in advanced Raman-based spectroscopy, stability of the cells, organic semi-transparent solar cells, and organic / perovskite photovoltaic cells for emerging / new applications. His group has developed new Raman-photoluminescence-photocurrent-electroluminescence multi-mapping techniques to study perovskite solar cells.

Tsoi’s group also applies advanced Raman spectroscopy to study the stability of organic photovoltaic materials (e.g. correlation with the rotation of the molecules). Furthermore, his group also made major contributions to organic / perovskite photovoltaic cells for indoor / aerospace applications, and is leading in this field. Tsoi has published 55 high quality papers and was invited for 22 talks. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of the journal “SN Applied Sciences”, and a member of the Royal Microscopic Society and the Institute of Physics.

Raman spectroscopy | Organic solar cells | Degradation Studies | Novel application of photovoltaics | Advanced characterization of printable solar cells
Areas Of Interest
Professor Trystan Watson
Photovoltaics Scale Up Research Lead

Academic Papers

Trystan started his academic career with a Chemistry degree at Swansea University spending a year out as an analytical chemist at 3M. He then transferred to the College of Engineering to carry out a Doctorate in Steel Technology. As part of this doctorate he used scanning electrochemical techniques to characterise corrosion phenomena such as Filiform corrosion on packaging substrates and co-invented a novel packaging coating to inhibit corrosion during high temperature heat treatments.

Trystan then moved to Corus Strip Products (now Tata Steel) as a product development engineer as well as a theme leader for the process technology group in the engineering doctorate scheme. It was there that he became a chartered engineer with the Institute of Materials Minerals and Mining (IOM3).

In 2007, Trystan returned to academia to take up a research position on the development of dye-sensitized solar cells on metal substrates.

Since then his research has focused on thin film printed photovoltaics with a specialism in developing new technologies for the manufacture of solution processable photovoltaics such as perovskites and OPV including deposition (roll to roll and sheet to sheet) and curing processes and their characterisation using electrochemistry, photochemistry or optoelectronic methods. During his career, Trystan has published over 100 academic papers. His research goal is to take these new material sets and develop the manufacturing pipeline for fabrication at scale. This is achieved by determining the loss mechanisms associated with scale, addressing process bottlenecks to reduce fabrication time and ensuring the widest range of substrates by building devices on sheet processed glass and roll to roll metal or plastic. Trystan is married with three daughters and a son and spends most of his home life wrapped around their fingers. Trystan is a Professor in Photovoltaics.
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