KP Technology collaborates with many research institutes and universities all over the world. Susanna Challinger is an industrial PhD student under the supervision of Professor Iain Baikie and Professor Ifor Samuels at the University of St Andrews.
Susanna works on materials analysis at KP Technology studying the energy levels of materials using the company’s scanning Kelvin probe, ambient pressure photoemission and surface photovoltage techniques alongside aiming to advance the instrumentation used to measure the energy levels of materials including diamond, perovskite solar cells and silicon nanowires. Additionally, building on KP Technology’s considerable research experience in high-resolution work function imaging she looked to recover latent fingerprints from metallic surfaces using electronic imaging. Susanna’s research forms the basis of an industrial PhD linked to the Organic Semiconductors Group at the University of St Andrews. In 2016, Susanna was awarded an Industrial Fellowship to support this work, funded by the ERA Foundation, from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851.
KP Technology fund a PhD student, Matyas Daboczi, at Imperial College London. Matyas is a research postgraduate enrolled in the Plastic Electronics Centre for Doctoral Training (www.imperial.ac.uk/plastic-electronics-cdt). He is working on the project “Morphology control and characterisation of organic and hybrid devices for thin-film electronics” under the supervision of Prof Ji-Seon Kim and Professor Iain Baikie.
The general goal of his project is to get to a better understanding of the energetics and different processes in hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite (mainly methylammonium lead iodide) solar cells that are relevant to device performance (e.g. ionic movement, charge carrier recombination, trapping of electrons and holes) and then using the acquired knowledge to prepare better (high performing, stable, less toxic, hysteresis-free) cells. Some of these processes take place in the perovskite layer (e.g. ion migration) but many are determined by the heterointerfaces of the active layer, which puts these interfaces also into the centre of his project.
For the above mentioned purposes all four techniques incorporated in the KP Technology APS04 system (Kelvin probe, ambient pressure photoemission spectroscopy, surface photovoltage and surface photovoltage spectroscopy) are invaluable tools. They are applied in Matyas’s project to measure the energy levels of the constituent layers of perovskite solar cells, to measure surface photovoltage and also its dynamics with different substrates and transport layers. APS04 is used together with many other characterisation techniques (atomic force microscopy, optical microscopy, UV-Vis spectroscopy etc.) to finally give some answers to the open questions related to perovskite solar cells.