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Seeking to demonstrate new, long-term approaches to photovoltaic power conversion that can fundamentally increase photovoltaic device efficiency.

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Competitive advantage

  • Deep conceptual understanding of the thermodynamic basis for solar power conversion
  • World class semiconductor and molecular device fabrication and characterisation facilities


  • Demonstrated the first hot carrier quantum well photovoltaic device
  • Demonstrated a metallic hot carrier photovoltaic device where sunlight is extinguished in an 8nm layer of chromium

Successful applications

  • Four patents on hot electron photovoltaic devices in collaboration with Toyota Motor Corporation
  • One patent on hot electron photodetectors in collaboration with Sharp Corporation

Capabilities and facilities

  • The SPECTRE Lab (SPECTroscopy for Renewable Energy) houses a suite of techniques that allow the measurement and development of advanced solar cell technologies using a tuneable femtosecond laser system
  • Molecular approaches to spectral engineering to better utilize the solar spectrum. This includes the development of both optical and electrical devices
  • Inorganic semiconductor based approaches to third generation photovoltaics including intermediate band solar cells and hot carrier solar cells
  • Semiconductor Molecular Beam Epitaxy, capable of fabricating quantum heterostructure electronic devices with atomic layer control
  • Atomic Layer Deposition of metal oxides

Our partners

  • Toyota Motor Corporation
  • Sharp Laboratories Europe