Current Projects

The following list contains all funded projects we are currently involved in in a somewhat arbitrary order. If you have any questions, just let us know.

  • With the project “Carbon Nanotube based conductive films” we want to reduce environmental impact and cost for conductive CNT-polymer films, which will make them more widely adopted and reduce environmental impact within touch screen, solar cell and coating applications. This project is funded through the EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account (EP/X525777/1); Duration: 05/2023–04/2024 (PI). 
  • Our project "Solution processing of carbon nanomaterials based on shear force mixing" complements the project above, developing better ways to solubilise carbon nanotubes in collaboration with an industrial partner. It is funded via the Royce Industrial Collaboration Programme (ICP) (EP/X527257/1). Duration: 10/2023–02/2024 (PI). 
  • Following from our START project (see below) and to further strengthen our collaboration, “A Foundry for Research into emerging Photovoltaic Materials” will fund the visit of researchers from Kenya to Oxford. Money for this exchange is kindly provided though an Africa Oxford (AfOx) Catalyst Grant. Duration: 02/2024–04/2024 (CoI; PI: Prof Omondi, MMUST, Kenya).

Finished Projects

  • The initial focus of our project "A National Thin-Film Cluster Facility for Advanced Functional Materials" (see below) was on developing unique capabilities for fabricating samples made of advanced functional materials. However, the facility is set up such that it allows expansion by further deposition techniques as well as characterization techniques and it could grow to about twice its initial size in the provided laboratory space. In the 2020 Core Equipment Call by EPSRC, we were awarded funds for the first expansion to the cluster: a setup for ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy (UPS), a technique that is indispensable for advanced materials research. Duration: 11/2020-05/2023 (CoI; PI: Patrick Grant ProVC Research).
  • Building on our CLASP project (see below), we were part of the "GCRF - START: Synchrotron Techniques for African Research and Technology" project. Our goal with this project was to build a partnership between world leading scientists in Africa and the UK who specialise in two strands of science; developing and characterising novel energy materials (catalysts and photovoltaics) and structural biology (understanding disease and developing drug targets). In START the research direction was set by considering the local environment and through engagement with scientists, energy industry representatives and relevant non-governmental organisations (NGO's) across Africa. Duration: 11/2017-09/2021 (CoI; PI: Chris Nicklin, Diamond Light Source, UK).
  • Our goals within the H2020 European Innovative Training Network (ITN) " SEPOMO – Spins in Efficient Photovoltaic devices based on Organic Molecules" was to bring the performance of organic solar cells forward by taking advantage of the so far unexplored degree of freedom of photogenerated species in organic materials, their spin. Within SEPOMO, 13 early stage researchers from several different disciplines were working on various aspects of this topic. The goal of our part here in Oxford was to provide an estimate of how much spin effects can enhance the performance of organic solar cells. This involved the fabrication of organic solar cells using vacuum deposition and exploring novel concepts to use triplet-triplet annihilation to improve their performance. Furthermore, materials developed as part of SEPOMO by our collaborators was combined with state-of-the-art devices. Duration: 11/2016-04/2021 (CoI; PI: Maxim Pchenitchnikov, Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, Groningen, NL).
  • The EPSRC funded project "A National Thin-Film Cluster Facility for Advanced Functional Materials" with contributions of the Oxford University John Fell Fund, our Department of Physics, the University of Oxford and the Wolfson Foundation has seen the construction of a large vacuum cluster facility at the Physics Department in Oxford. The cluster facility includes several interconnected, but independent deposition chambers (thermal, sputter, ALD) for the fabrication of multilayer structures of organic semiconductors, inorganic and hybrid perovskites, metals, transparent conducting oxides etc. This project is a collaboration between the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University of Loughbourough and Imperial College London. Duration: 08/2015-10/2021 (CoI and technical lead; PI: Henry Snaith, Oxford Physics).
  • When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in early 2020, we thought about what we can do to help. We found that spectroscopic ellipsometry, a technique we heavily relied on in our WAFT project (see finished projects), had been used to study SARS in the early 2000s. Our initial tests studying SARS-CoV-2 were promising and we became part of the project "Next-generation viral testing: rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2 and characterization of its interactions with antibodies and drugs for clinical diagnostics and therapeutics”, which received internal funding from Oxford's Medical Science Division. Duration: 06/2020-03/2021 (CoI; PI: Achillefs Kapanidis, Oxford Physics).
  • The EPSRC funded project “Wearable and flexible technologies enabled by advanced thin-film manufacture and Metrology” aimed to solve a key technological challenge in wearable technologies, namely that of scalable and cost-effective manufacturing. The project was a collaboration between the University of Oxford, the University of Southampton and the University of Exeter. More details can be found on the WAFT Homepage. Duration: 05/2015–10/2020 (CoI; PI: Harish Bhaskaran, Oxford Materials).
  • The EU Horizon 2020 funded project “Large Area Nanoparticle Deposition System” has brought Dr Greyson Christoforo to Oxford as Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow. He built a second generation version of the Large Area Nanoparticle Deposition System (LANDS) that he had designed and built during his PhD studies at Stanford University, USA. Primary use was be for transparent electrodes, and it still serves well, e.g. for the carbon nanotube thin films. Duration: 08/2015-08/2017 (Host).
  • Within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions of the EU 7th Framework, the Career Integration Grant “Organic Solar Cells - Go! (OSC-GO)” supported the startup of our group in Oxford. The underlying theme of this project was advancing the understanding of organic solar cells and making them become a reality. To achieve this goal, this project had three strands of research: molecular p- and n-doping of organic semiconductors, structure-property relationships, and degradation mechanisms of organic solar cells. Duration: 03/2014–02/2018 (PI).
  • As part of the KIETEP (Korea) funded Project “Graphene and carbon nanotube nanohybrids for robust electrodes”, the University of Oxford developed and investigated new electrode technologies for emerging solar cell technologies (perovskite, organic, quantum dots PV) in collaboration with Daejoo and Korea University in Korea. The goal was to obtain a scalable and flexible electrode technology based on carbon materials. Duration: 11/2014–10/2017 (CoI; Oxford PI: Robin Nicholas, Oxford Physics).
  • Within the Challenge Led Applied Systems Programme (CLASP) of STFC, the project “Structure-Property Relationships: Enabling a faster Commercialisation of Organic Solar Cells” aimed at - as the name says - accelerating the commercialisation of emerging solar cell technologies in a collaboration of three academic partners (University of Oxford, Diamond Lightsource, ISIS Muon and Neutron Source) and four industrial partners (Merck Chemicals Ltd, K.J. Lesker Ltd, Eight19 Ltd, Oxford PV). Among other experiments, it involved us using neutron sources and synchrotrons for measuring our samples. Since then we have had a successful track record for getting beamtime at ISIS (UK), Diamond (UK), ESRF (FR), ILL (FR), LLB (FR), PSI (CH) and NIST (US). Duration: 07/2014–12/2017 (PI).
  • Within EU Horizon 2020, the COST Action “Stable Next-Generation Photovoltaics” (StableNextSol) was a worldwide and interdisciplinary network of universities, institutes and industrial partners from more than 20 countries. The partners combined their different and complementary analytical techniques and know-how to study the degradation mechanisms occurring in emerging solar cell technologies, in particular organic solar cells and hybrid perovskite solar cells. Duration: 03/2014–03/2018 (CoI and Vice Chair; PI and Chair: Monica Lira-Cantu, Institut Català de Nanosciència i Nanotecnologia (ICN2), Barcelona, ES).