Research Assistant \ Associate – Instilling defect tolerance in ABZ2 photovoltaic materials

Job summary

Applications are invited for a Research Associate position to join the Department of Materials. The overarching goal of the project is to pinpoint defect-tolerant ABZ2 materials and develop them into efficient thin film photovoltaics (PVs) processed at low temperature using scalable methods. In ABZ2 materials, A = monovalent cation, B = Bi3+ or Sb3+, and Z = divalent anion (e.g., S2-, Se2-). This position will involve developing vapour- and...

Job listing information

  • Reference ENG01493
  • Date posted 2 December 2020
  • Closing date 4 January 2021

Job description

Job summary

Applications are invited for a Research Associate position to join the Department of Materials. The overarching goal of the project is to pinpoint defect-tolerant ABZ2 materials and develop them into efficient thin film photovoltaics (PVs) processed at low temperature using scalable methods. In ABZ2 materials, A = monovalent cation, B = Bi3+ or Sb3+, and Z = divalent anion (e.g., S2-, Se2-). This position will involve developing vapour- and solution-based synthesis routes for these materials, and characterising their crystal structure, composition, electronic structure, charge-carrier lifetime and photoluminescence quantum efficiency. New insights into the role of electronic, composition and structural properties on defect tolerance will be generated, and these used to identify promising ABZ2 materials, which will be developed into photovoltaics. The performance and stability of the devices will be systematically improved by identifying and mitigating limiting factors.

The project is funded by EPSRC, No. EP/V014498/1, and a summary of the aims and background can be found online: https://gow.epsrc.ukri.org/NGBOViewGrant.aspx?GrantRef=EP/V014498/1

Duties and responsibilities

Key Responsibilities

Research:

  • Synthesis of ABZ2 thin films by solution- and vapour-based methods
  • Characterisation of the crystal structure of the phases produced, their composition, charge-carrier lifetime, photoluminescence quantum efficiency and band positions
  • Undertake all associated data analysis and interpretation of data
  • Liaise with collaborators (including industry) and mentors
  • Attend regular project meetings and provide all relevant materials (reports, presentations, data) in a timely way
  • Assist the other research staff in the day-to-day management of the Energy Materials & Devices group laboratories, as well as working in harmony with other users of the Royce@Imperial facilities
  • To liaise with other research staff and students working in broad areas of relevance to the research project
  • To write quarterly progress reports and prepare results for publication and dissemination via journals, presentations and the web
  • To attend progress and management meetings as required and network with other research groups
  • To attend relevant workshops and conferences as necessary.
  • To develop contacts and research collaborations within the College and the wider community.
  • To undertake mentorship of PhD students, as agreed.
  • To actively participate in Group research meetings and internal seminars.

Other Duties:

  • To undertake appropriate administration tasks
  • To attend relevant meetings
  • To undertake limited teaching duties as required
  • To maintain safe workplace practice and procedures in accordance with the requirements of Health and Safety legislation

Essential requirements

Candidates/post holders will be expected to demonstrate the following:

Qualifications

  • Research Assistant, near completion of PhD (or equivalent) in materials science, chemistry, physics or engineering.
  • Research Associate holds a PhD* (or equivalent) in chemistry, physics or materials science and engineering focused on high temperature ceramic materials.

Experience

  • Demonstrated experience of appropriate data analysis techniques
  • Experience of growing films inside a glovebox, and in the operation and maintenance of gloveboxes
  • Experience of measurement of photovoltaic performance
  • Practical experience in thin film diffraction measurements and analysis
  • Previous experience in thin film photoemission spectroscopy and optical characterisation
  • Experience of synthesis and characterisation of colloidal nanocrystals (using a Schlenk line), or in thin film synthesis by chemical vapour deposition or physical vapour transport
  • Experience in working with computational materials modelling groups
  • Experience of organisation of project meetings and laboratory management
  • Supervision of research students
  • General background of semiconductors, and recombination processes
  • Experience of electron microscopy

Knowledge

  • Knowledge and experience of photovoltaic device development
  • Knowledge and experience of materials characterisation techniques including X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD).
  • Background knowledge of photovoltaic device operation
  • Background knowledge of recombination processes in semiconductors
  • Knowledge and experience of colloidal nanocrystals and bulk thin films

Further information

**Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £35,477- £38,566 per annum.

For additional information please contact: Dr. Robert Hoye, r.hoye@imperial.ac.uk

Further guidance may be sought from Mrs Darakshan Khan (d.khan@imperial.ac.uk).

For technical issues when applying online please email recruitment@imperial.ac.uk.

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see https://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-evaluation/

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http://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-integrity/animal-research

Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment. We are an Athena SWAN Silver award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and work in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.

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You will find our main London campus in South Kensington, with our hospital campuses located nearby in West and North London. We also have Silwood Park in Berkshire and state-of-the-art facilities in development at our major new campus in White City.

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Additional information

Please note that job descriptions cannot be exhaustive and the post-holder may be required to undertake other duties, which are broadly in line with the above key responsibilities.

All Imperial employees are expected to follow the 7 principles of Imperial Expectations: 

  • Champion a positive approach to change and opportunity
  • Communicate regularly and effectively within, and across, teams
  • Consider the thoughts and expectations of others
  • Deliver positive outcomes
  • Encourage inclusive participation and eliminate discrimination
  • Develop and grow skills and expertise
  • Work in a planned and managed way 

In addition to the above, employees are required to observe and comply with all College policies and regulations.

We are committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment for all. We therefore encourage candidates to apply irrespective of age, disability, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion and belief, gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation. We are an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Disability Confident Leader and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

For technical issues when applying online please email support.jobs@imperial.ac.uk.