School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


7 Mar 2023

Loughborough awarded £2.6m to open national facility that will allow unique nanoscale imaging of solar cells

Image shows the diffusion of an element at a solar cell interface. It was captured using a scanning electron microscope with cathodoluminescence capabilities.

Loughborough University has been awarded £2.6m to open a new national facility that will increase our understanding of how solar cells and other electronic devices that interact with light work.

Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the National Facility for High-Resolution Cathodoluminescence (CL) Analysis will be the first of its kind globally and open to researchers from around the world.

The facility will aid with the development of solar cell technologies, LEDs, quantum dots and other devices that operate on both light and electrical currents, known as ‘optoelectronics’.

Professor Mike Walls, of the Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST), and Loughborough Materials Characterisation Centre (LMCC)’s Dr Mark Jepson and Dr Zhaoxia Zhou led the bid for the facility.

Professor Walls said the facility will “help maintain the UK's position as a research leader in photovoltaic and optoelectronic device development”.

He commented: “We are very proud to have been chosen to host the National Facility for High Resolution Cathodoluminescence".

Athena Swan Bronze award

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The Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering
Loughborough University
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