My work includes the discovery of crystalline inorganic and hybrid organic-inorganic materials for energy applications. This starts with a concept or exploratory synthesis, using solid-state, vapour-assisted and solution-based reactions to isolate powders, crystals and thin films of the targeted compound. I then solve the crystal structure of the novel materials by using X-ray and neutron diffraction data, collected in the laboratory and at national facilities, performed on powder and crystal samples. The optoelectronic properties of thin films of the materials are measured, which allows us to make links between structure/composition and properties. This understanding is fed back in to the loop for further chemical tuning to optimise the materials properties. Optimised materials are processed in to useful devices. I am using my skills, often complementary to those in the group, to contribute to a number of projects as well as open up new areas of research. Currently, my own work is focused on wide band gap semiconductors for efficient tandem solar cells.
Dr Harry Sansom
Postdoctoral Research Assistant