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Winton Programme for the Physics of Sustainability

Department of Physics

Professor Judith Driscoll (Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy) and Dr Robert Hoye (Optoelectronics Group)

The thin-film photovoltaics field has recently been revolutionised by the advent of hybrid lead-halide perovskites, which have achieved unprecedented rises in efficiency to 22.1% after only seven years of research. However, the lead content remains a concern for wide-scale deployment, and non-toxic alternatives urgently need to be identified and developed. Bismuth-based compounds have recently been identified as a potentially promising class of materials. This is because these materials have demonstrated very little evidence of toxicity and theory predicts that they may replicate the tolerance of lead-halide perovskites to defects.

The aim of this project is to explore bismuth oxyhalide materials as solar absorbers. This combines the growth expertise of Prof. Judith Driscoll (Materials) with the device development and characterisation expertise of Dr. Robert Hoye (Physics). Recently, through this project, they have achieved a record performance from bismuth oxyiodide, as well as showing the material to be air-stable for at least 197 days and to be defect tolerant. Their work is published in Advanced Materials (DOI: 10.1002/adma.201702176) and highlighted in a press release from the University of Cambridge:

Researchers from Cambridge who also contributed strongly to the work include Dr Ahmed Kursumovic, Lana Lee and Tahmida Huq

Robert Hoye Pump Prime.jpg


Image credit: Steve Penney

Winton Annual Report 2019

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