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Dr Yongtao Qu

Assistant Professor

Department: Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering


I received my BSc degree in Materials Chemistry and MSc degree in Inorganic Chemistry in 2008 and 2011 respectively. I then joined Northumbria University in 2012 and awarded a PhD degree in Physics in 2016 for my work in thin film solar cells from nanoparticle inks. My current research interest is to explore and understand the interfaces between the materials within the solar cells over a full range of length scales (atom to device), from the investigation of atomic ordering in the absorber to the improvement of PV devices via reduced back contact barrier using alternative nanoparticle fabrication strategy. I am directly contributing as the Centre manager to the running of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU), partnering with Durham and Newcastle Universities and 36 industrial partners, as well as being a partner on the North East Centre for Energy Materials.


Renewable Energy Northeast Universities

Northumbria Photovoltaic Group



Yongtao Qu

Campus Address

E411 block
Ellison Building

Dr Qu is expertized in the development, fabrication, characterisation, thin film PV devices from printable nanoparticle inks, which provides added benefit to high volume and high value manufacturing to develop a reliable and transferable technology in light weight Earth abundant solar cells. His current research interest is to explore and understand the interfaces between the materials within the solar cells over a full range of length scales (atom to device), from the investigation of atomic ordering in the absorber to the improvement of PV devices via reduced back contact barrier using alternative nanoparticle fabrication strategy. He also has wide research interests in green energy materials, including fullerene C60 carbon materials, insulation/flame-retardant materials and CO2 adsorption/storage materials.

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • A structural, optical and electrical comparison between physical vapour deposition and slot-die deposition of Al:ZnO (AZO), Matheson, E., Xu, X., Qu, Y., Zoppi, G., Barrioz, V., Beattie, N. 31 Mar 2023, In: MRS Advances
  • Editorial: Functional materials with charge transfer properties and their application in photoelectric devices, Zheng, M., Gatti, T., Liu, Y., Qu, Y. 23 Nov 2022, In: Frontiers in Chemistry
  • Ex-situ Ge-doping of CZTS Nanocrystals and CZTSSe Solar Absorber Films, Naylor, M., Tiwari, D., Sheppard, A., Laverock, J., Campbell, S., Ford, B., Xu, X., Jones, M., Qu, Y., Maiello, P., Barrioz, V., Beattie, N., Fox, N., Fermin, D., Zoppi, G. 1 Oct 2022, In: Faraday Discussions
  • Modelling interfaces in thin-film photovoltaic devices, Jones, M., Dawson, J., Campbell, S., Barrioz, V., Whalley, L., Qu, Y. 21 Jun 2022, In: Frontiers in Chemistry
  • Preparation and thermal properties analysis of fatty acids/1-hexadecanol binary eutectic phase change materials reinforced with TiO2 particles, Zhang, R., Chen, D., Chen, L., Cao, X., Liu, X., Qu, Y. 1 Jul 2022, In: Journal of Energy Storage
  • Recovery mechanisms in aged kesterite solar cells, Campbell, S., Duchamp, M., Ford, B., Jones, M., Nguyen, L., Naylor, M., Xu, X., Maiello, P., Zoppi, G., Barrioz, V., Beattie, N., Qu, Y. 23 May 2022, In: ACS Applied Energy Materials
  • Routes to Increase Performance for Antimony Selenide Solar Cells using Inorganic Hole Transport Layers, Campbell, S., Phillips, L., Major, J., Hutter, O., Voyce, R., Qu, Y., Beattie, N., Zoppi, G., Barrioz, V. 26 Sep 2022, In: Frontiers in Chemistry
  • Thermally-induced flexible and thermally conductive enhanced phase change material with 1-hexadecanol as phase change component, Qu, Y., Chen, L., Zhang, R., Cao, X., Liu, X. 1 Dec 2022, In: Composites Part A: Applied Science and Manufacturing
  • Kesterite Thin Film Solar Cells from Nanoparticles Inks, Qu, Y. 28 Sep 2021, 28th SCI-CSCST annual conference
  • Light soaking effect in solution processed Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 thin film solar cells, Qu, Y., Jones, M. 8 Oct 2021, The 31st International PV Science and Engineering Conference (PVSEC-31)

Michael Jones Back contact engineering for high performance kesterite solar cells Start Date: 01/10/2020

  • Physics PhD April 05 2016
  • Other Courses MSc June 30 2011
  • Member Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) 2015
  • Member Institute of Physics

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