Thin Films Research Centre
The Thin Films Research Centre is dedicated to the study and use of functional electronic materials for novel and innovative devices. These include optoelectronic devices, lasers, solar cells and high power transistors.
There is a large activity in the Centre in the computer simulation and mathematical modelling of a range of materials and related materials processing techniques. We also carry out research in stellar physics.
About the centre
The centre is renowned for development of nanoscale multilayer Physical Vapour Deposited (PVD) coatings and for the development of the HIPIMS technique. The nanoscale multilayer structure can make the thin films, though few micrometers in thickness, super-hard or can provide multi-functionality in one coating. The coatings can have various applications; super-hard, wear resistant, corrosion resistant, oxidation resistant and/ or as coatings for aesthetic appeal and bio-medical applications. The research based at the centre focuses on fundamental studies ranging from plasma diagnostics to the final stage of technology transfer to an industrial sized deposition machine for mass production. The coatings development in the centre has been a result of various European Union (EU) and UK supported fundamental research projects being carried out by the centre in Sheffield Hallam University or along with its strategic industrial/ academic partners across the globe. The centre is also renowned for its scientific facilities, publications and for its patents.
About the group
The Electronic Materials & Sensors Group is a highly active research group led by I. M. Dharmadasa, who is the Professor of Electronic Materials & Devices, and currently focusing on Solar Energy conversion.
The group is dedicated to the training of scientists and engineers in understanding of all aspects of Electronic Materials and Sensing Devices.
The activities in the group focus on
- growth of electronic materials using Electrodeposition, Chemical Bath deposition, Sol-gel, vacuum evaporation, etc.
- material characterisation using a wide range of analytical techniques (Facilities Available)
- device design, fabrication, assesment, development and commercialisation of PV solar cells, LEDs, sensors, etc.
- modelling of electronic device structures (lasers, graded bandgap solar cells)
- scaling up and commercialisation of successful research
- public understanding of science activities on renewable energy applications and sustainability (http://www.apsl.org.uk/dharme/default.aspx)
- theory and simulations of transport and optics of intersubband semiconductor materials and devices with an emphasis on mid infrared and terahertz applications. Main devices currently focused are cascade lasers and graded bandgap multi-layer solar cells.
About the centre
The HIPIMS Technology Centre is committed to developing plasma science and technology to improve the quality and performance of PVD and PACVD applications. One of the main strengths of the centre is its expertise in High Power Impulse Magnetron Sputtering (HIPIMS) - the latest innovation in PVD. We have a strong track record of working with academic and industrial partners. We seek to educate the next generation of plasma scientists.
Title of Research: Research, development and scaling-up of low-cost thin film solar cells based on electrodeposited semi-conductors.
Title of Research: Production of low-cost solar cell from rice husk ash.
Title of Research: p-i-n solar cells based on p-Znte, i-CdTe and n-CdS.
Director of Studies: Dr. Karen Vernon-Parry
Title of Research: Thin solar cells using GaSe, CdTe and ZnS
Qualifications: B.Tech, MSc
Director of Studies: Prof. I. M. Dharmadasa