Speaker Profiles

Dr Guillaume Zoppi - Northumbria University (27th June at 9:30)

Nanocrystal Inks for Solar Paint

Research in thin film photovoltaics (PV) or the so-called second generation PV has been for the best part of 30 years focused on increasing the efficiency of devices based on CdTe and CuInGaSe2 in order to rival silicon technologies. However, once the efficiency plateaued the idea of Earth abundant solar absorber emerged and new materials were being explored in order to overcome possible shortages of In, Ga and Te. One such alternative is Cu2SnSn(S,Se)4 or CZTSSe. Expectations for this material were high as efficiency quickly rose in the double digits in the laboratory using chemical fabrication methods rather than vacuum based techniques. However little progress has been made on this metric over the last five years despite many methods now producing 10+% efficient solar cells. Crystal structure, materials defects, band alignment of interfaces, poor choice of materials all contribute to lower than predicted results. Compromise on efficiency can be tolerated only if significant cost reduction can be offered on the production line. During this talk, I will take a closer look at the case of CZTSSe solar cells produced from nanoparticle inks and present our current strategies to understand the physics and chemistry of this material. Could we make solar paint in the near future?

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Dr Rita Tojeiro – University of Saint Andrews (27th June at 14:00)

Mapping the universe

The structure of the Universe on the largest scales tells us a great deal about its composition, geometry, dynamics and ultimate fate. I will review our progress on mapping the large-scale structure of the Universe over the last few decades, show some of the most complete and largest maps we have ever made, and discuss the cosmological model that these maps have revealed.

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Dr Kate Lancaster – University of York (27th June at 15:30)

Is it possible to build a star on earth?

Trying to recreate the energy source of the stars, nuclear fusion, on earth presents huge challenges in physics and engineering. The benefits of nuclear fusion if successful are an almost limitless, clean energy source. There are many challenges associated with keeping matter at 150 million degrees trapped inside a reactor without touching it! This talk is the story of how, in the absence of a lab the size of a star, we are attempting to make fusion into an energy source for the future.

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Dr Hamdi Torun – Northumbria University (28th June at 17:00)

Microsystems for Future Challenges

The focus of my research is in micro/nanoengineering to address key future challenges. I have been developing novel micro/nano-systems for various applications from biomolecular measurements and biosensor development to infrared imaging and terahertz detectors.

In the first part of this talk, I will present our research efforts in probe microscopy. Advances in probe microscopes expand the capabilities of techniques used for biomolecular applications. Capability of imaging, sensing and manipulating single-molecules and single-cells allows researchers to probe fascinating biophysical processes. I will present a novel atomic force spectroscopy technique for biomolecular measurements at single-molecular level. We perform the experiments by manipulating the magnetic beads using an electromagnet against a stationary AFM cantilever. Keeping the cantilever stationary and performing the actuation electromagnetically via drastically miniaturized structures (using beads with a diameter of 2.4 μm) provide advantages for stability, dynamics and resolution. I will present the results of biomolecular pulling experiments using heparin-functionalized magnetic beads to probe the interactions of heparin-FGF2 interaction at single molecule level.

In the second part of my talk, I will present our research on metamaterial-based microsystems. There is a critical need for non-invasive, quick, affordable, portable and accurate means of diagnosing critical and chronic diseases. In addition, long-term continuous monitoring systems for diseases and conditions such as diabetes promise significantly improved life quality. We have demonstrated our technology for sensitive measurement of biomolecules, concentration of blood glucose and for continuous monitoring of glaucoma. Among these applications, we have been able to commercialise our technology for glaucoma monitoring. We have developed a smart contact lens that incorporates a passive metamaterial-based sensor that is sensitive to strain on the soft contact lens.

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Prof. Steve Cowley

The Scientific Challenge of Fusion Power

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Have any questions? Feel free to contact us via Facebook, drop us an email at nu@iopcaps.co.uk or drop any of the team below an email and we will do our best to answer your inquiry

Chris - Chair
Sam - Vice-chair
Luke - Projects manager
Ian - Sponsorship manager
Ella - Publicity manager

Have any questions? Feel free to contact us via Facebook, drop us an email at nu@iopcaps.co.uk or drop any of the team below an email and we will do our best to answer your inquiry

Christopher Markwell - CAPS chair: christopher.markwell@northumbria.ac.uk
Sam James - CAPS vice-chair: drsamjames@gmail.com
Luke Haworth - CAPS projects manager: l.haworth@northumbria.ac.uk
Ian Rye-Carrigas - CAPS sponsorship manager: i.rye-carriegas@newcastle.ac.uk
Ella Grogan - CAPS publicity manager: ella.grogan@northumbria.ac.uk