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Dr Ian Forbes

Associate Professor

Department: Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering

EE Ian Forbes Staffprofile 255I am a Reader in the Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering, at Northumbria. As an active researcher in the field of photovoltaics, my mission is to contribute to transforming the way the world generates, stores and consumes energy.  Photovoltaics (PV) offer a clean and sustainable method of harnessing the largest and least geographically restricted, inexhaustible renewable energy source, which has the potential to reduce energy usage and energy dependency. In particular this technology offers an opportunity for the developing world to create new systems for generating and distributing energy that are not constrained by the restrictions of grid systems used in developed economies.

I studied Materials Technology at the University of Surrey, which stimulated my interest in materials and their benefits to society. My placement year enabled me to gain a valuable insight into materials research in industry in the UK and Sweden. After graduating and working for GEC Optical Fibres, in London, I decided to develop my knowledge of optoelectronics and undertook a postgraduate course at Newcastle Polytechnic under a Department of Trade and Industry funded programme.

I was attracted to the elegance of photovoltaic technologies and was pleased to accept the offer to study for a PhD in indium phosphide (InP) based solar space cells by Newcastle Photovoltaic Applications Centre. Making InP based cells that were jointly the first to be flown in space was very satisfying and being part of a group that pioneered European thin film PV research strengthened my interest in this field.

I was the first in the UK to develop the 2-stage process of selenisation of sputtered metallic multilayer precursors and apply this technology to new sustainable materials. Sustainability includes the whole lifecycle, materials availability and production and the energy and carbon required for the whole PV system including installation and decommissioning.

I have developed interests in Thermophotovoltaics (TPV) – the conversion by PV cells of high temperature radiation, environmental impact assessment of thin film PV and contributed to promote the solar PV in national government and research council development of renewable energy strategies.

I collaborate widely with leading researchers and companies in the sector in pursuing my specialism. In the UK I have strong links with Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cranfield, Loughborough and Swansea and as well as major European research groups. I am particularly keen to strengthen the links academic researchers have with the leading companies in the industry.


Campus Address

Ellison Building

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • A combined model for PV system lifetime energy prediction and annual energy assessment, Georgitsioti, T., Pearsall, N., Forbes, I., Pillai, G. 1 May 2019, In: Solar Energy
  • A PL and PLE Study of High Cu Content Cu2ZnSnSe4 Films on Mo/Glass and Solar Cells, Sulimov, M., Yakushev, M., Forbes, I., Prieto, J., Mudryi, A., Krustok, J., Edwards, P., Martin, R. 1 May 2019, In: Physics of the Solid State
  • Effects of selenisation temperature on photoluminescence and photoluminescence excitation spectra of ZnO/CdS/Cu2ZnSnSe4/Mo/glass, Sulimov, M., Yakushev, M., Márquez-Prieto, J., Forbes, I., Edwards, P., Zhivulko, V., Borodavchenko, O., Mudryi, A., Krustok, J., Martin, R. 28 Feb 2019, In: Thin Solid Films
  • A luminescence study of Cu2ZnSnSe4/Mo/glass films and solar cells with near stoichiometric copper content, Yakushev, M., Sulimov, M., Márquez-prieto, J., Forbes, I., Edwards, P., Zhivulko, V., Borodavchenko, O., Mudryi, A., Krustok, J., Martin, R. 28 Nov 2018, In: Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics
  • Effects of Ar+ etching of Cu2ZnSnSe4 thin films: An x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and photoluminescence study, Yakushev, M., Sulimov, M., Skidchenko, E., Márquez-prieto, J., Forbes, I., Edwards, P., Kuznetsov, M., Zhivulko, V., Borodavchenko, O., Mudryi, A., Krustok, J., Martin, R. Nov 2018, In: Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology B:Nanotechnology and Microelectronics
  • Revealing the beneficial effects of Ge doping on Cu2ZnSnSe4 thin film solar cells, Neuschitzer, M., Espindola-Rodriguez, M., Guc, M., Marquez Prieto, J., Giraldo, S., Forbes, I., Perez-Rodriguez, A., Saucedo, E. 7 Jul 2018, In: Journal of Materials Chemistry A
  • A comparative assessment of delivery methods of mathematics and technology enhanced learning, Elsdon, M., Busawon, K., Vigouroux, A., Binns, R., Forbes, I., Railland, V. 19 Jun 2018, 5th Teaching and Education Conference
  • Impact of Interstitial Ni on the Thermoelectric Properties of the Half-Heusler TiNiSn, Barczak, S., Buckman, J., Smith, R., Baker, A., Don, E., Forbes, I., Bos, J. 30 Mar 2018, In: Materials
  • Influence of the copper content on the optical properties of CZTSe thin films, Yakushev, M., Sulimov, M., Marquez Prieto, J., Forbes, I., Krustok, J., Edwards, P., Zhivulko, V., Borodavchenko, O., Mudryi, A., Martin, R. Aug 2017, In: Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Training Hub for Renewable Energy Technologies in Sri Lanka/ THREE-Lanka, Busawon, K. (Principal Investigator), Forbes, I. (Co Investigator), European Commission, 15/01/21 - 14/01/24, £110,653.00
  • Lingusitics Course, Busawon, K. (Principal Investigator), Forbes, I. (Co Investigator), Regional Center and Nancy Territorial Center | Epinal, 01/03/20 - 30/04/20, 0.00

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Invited talk: Innovations and technologies in the field of pollution-free energy  2018
  • Invited talk: Critical Materials for Photovoltaic Technologies 2018
  • Invited talk: CIGS and CZTS PV devices 2018
  • Invited talk: PV Materials 2016
  • Invited talk: CIGS and CZTS PV devices 2016
  • Invited talk: CIGS and CZTS PV devices 2014
  • Invited talk: PV Materials 2011
  • Invited talk: Solar Photovoltaics: The challenges and potential for research into a sustainable future 2009

  • Pietro Maiello A Study on Cu3X(S,Se)3 (X=Bi, Sb) Novel Materials as Light Absorber in Thin Film Photovoltaic Cells Start Date: 11/12/2008 End Date: 25/06/2015
  • Mehrnoush Mokhtarimehr Sustainable photovoltaics – Cu2ZnSnS4 thin films produced by the conversion of mechano-chemical synthesised precursors Start Date: 29/10/2014 End Date: 10/04/2019
  • Jose Marquez Prieto Development of Cu2ZnSnSe4 and Cu2SnS3 Based Absorbers by PVD Processes Start Date: 26/04/2013 End Date: 11/11/2016

  • Physics PhD November 28 1994
  • Physics PGDip September 01 1986
  • Materials Science BSc (Hons) June 30 1984
  • Certified Physiscist C. Phys
  • Member of the institurte of Physics MPhys.

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