We work among extraordinary people doing extraordinary things; get to know some of them by reading these quick-fire interviews.
Name: Saqlain Choudhary
Job title: DPhil Condensed Matter Physics
What are you currently working on?
I work on novel techniques to fabricate wide band gap (1.7ev) perovskite solar cells for use in tandem silicon-perovskite cells. This work is related to boosting the efficiency of a silicon cell by 10% for not much additional cost.
Describe a typical day
I’ll come into the lab and prepare my precursors, glass and materials for making a solar cell. I will then make said cell in the Wolfson cleanroom after struggling to put on the cleanroom suit. The remainder of the day is spent characterising what I’ve made with techniques such as PLQY, XRD and UV-Vis spectroscopy. I’ll then analyse my data and see if I’ve made what I aimed to, and when I inevitably haven’t, go speak to my supervisor who will reassure me that I’m not useless and help me plan a follow-up experiment. In between, I’ll break up my day with activities like eating, praying, and exercising.
If you had an entire day at your disposal (not at work), what would be your ideal way to spend it?
I’d sleep to my heart’s content. Play either a cricket or football match in the morning and hopefully win (preferably having scored a hundred). Then make some plans with some friends to go out somewhere. I’m particularly fond of walking in scenic places. I'd then invite them back to mine for dinner, perhaps something fancy like a leg of lamb (slow-cooked, of course) paired with a side of a Mediterranean salad and some fresh bread. Then in the evening I’d spend some time alone either with a great novel (currently reading Lonesome Dove) or a great rom-com (like Crazy, Stupid, Love). Then drift away into a great sleep.
What is your favourite place in Oxford?
The view of the rad-cam from the Exeter Fellows garden or the University Park cricket pavilion.
What discovery would you like to see in your lifetime?
Maybe not a discovery but I’d love to see us move to as close to 100% renewable energy as possible, hopefully with some silicon perovskite tandems lending a hand.