Printing Solar Cells for Future Technologies


Key Information

Academic supervisor: Prof Trystan Watson, Dr Jenny Baker


ATIP is a £6M Programme Grant led by SPECIFIC and Swansea University, in close collaboration with Imperial College London and Oxford University, funded by EPSRC. The research is closely supported by 12 key industrial partners. The main objective is to drive the uptake of next generation organic photovoltaics and perovskite photovoltaics (PV) to support future technologies. This project relates to the scale-up of printed photovoltaics from laboratory to factory, as part of the SPECIFIC PV research team led by Professor Trystan Watson.

The team at SPECIFIC will develop in the successful candidate skills in printing, coating and lifetime testing of functional materials and the development of enabling technologies.

The PV scale-up and stability research activity is currently carried out at Swansea University’s new Bay Campus facility and is housed in purpose-built facilities which include a new stability testing and cleanroom printing facility. Printing capabilities include screen, inkjet, slot-die, blade, gravure, and flexography. The photovoltaic characterisation laboratory at SPECIFIC is setup to rapidly progress the prototyping of thin film PV materials on glass or flexible metal and plastic surfaces. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to develop their own specialisation, giving them experience that will be beneficial whether their future career is in academia or industry.

Project Aims:

The student will work within the larger project team to transfer small area laboratory developed solar cells (perovskite and organic photovoltaics) to large-area industrialised processes. The project will form part of the ATIP project and will work with collaborators at Imperial College London and Oxford University to ensure targeted functionality and processability – developing scaling strategies for depositing and drying solution-based perovskite and organic solar cell materials using methods that meet the programme’s design requirements and enable integration; particularly focusing on reducing the efficiency gap between small and large area cells.

Day to day activities of the student will entail the fabrication and characterisation of solar cells using both conventional laboratory methods (spin-coating) as well as more industrially relevant methods (slot-die, roll to roll, screen printing). The student will have the opportunity to specialise in at least one advanced materials characterisation technique (SEM, N2 adsorption, XRD, etc) over the course of their studies.

The Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) in the College of Engineering is a Swansea University initiative which provides postgraduate research training in partnership with industry, providing access to world-class laboratories and a wealth of academic and industry expertise. The M2A is committed to providing top quality research opportunities within an inclusive environment, funded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Swansea University and Industry partners.

Interwoven through the research study are business, technical and entrepreneurial courses, designed to support and prepare participants for a senior role in industry or academia, on completion of their studies. Research Engineers may participate in our career mentoring system, offering opportunity to engage with M2A alumni and other senior staff from across the University.

The Athena SWAN charter recognises work undertaken by institutions to advance gender equality. The College of Engineering is an Athena SWAN bronze award holder and is committee to addressing unequal gender representation. Applications from women are particularly welcomed.

Before submitting an application for the project, please see our Hints & Tips document which can be found here.

Sponsoring Company

The Application Targeted and Integrated Photovoltaics (ATIP) project – Enhancing UK capability in Solar.


We welcome applications from candidates with Chemistry, Physics, or Engineering disciplines. 2.1 or 1st class degree preferred, or equivalent relevant experience that would enable the candidate to fulfil the role.

Full eligibility can be found at


Fees at Home / EU rate, and Stipend £20,000 per annum, for each of the four years.
For full details on funding eligibility, please refer to the Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) Website (Student Eligibility | M2A).
Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is not open to ‘International’ candidates.

Closing Date: 23rd April 2021

Start Date: October 2021

Applications and informal enquiries about this studentship should be directed by email to:

Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) provides industry led postgraduate research training based at Swansea University's new Bay Campus. M2A is part funded by the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government.