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Award-winner Jonathan Scragg
Award-winner Jonathan Scragg

Internal News - 04 June 2008

Chemistry postgraduate wins prize in Strasbourg

Jonathan Scragg, a second year postgraduate in the Department of Chemistry, was awarded the prize for the best poster during the European Materials Research Society Spring meeting in Strasbourg last week.

Jonathan, who works in Professor Laurie Peter’s group, has succeeded in developing new sustainable materials for solar cells that could replace more expensive or toxic materials used in the current generation of cells.

Jonathan said: “We are developing sustainable materials to generate renewable energy from sunlight, using photovoltaic (PV) technology. PV manufacturers suffer from high costs because most current PV technologies rely on rare and expensive materials. This has slowed the deployment of large scale solar energy.

“The new material we are investigating, Copper-Zinc-Tin-Sulphide, is made entirely from cheap, abundant elements, and so could reduce the cost of solar electricity.

“It was great to see so much interest in our work on this material at the conference in Strasbourg because it suggests that the big players in academia and industrial research are beginning to see its potential.”