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Guillaume Zoppi

Associate Professor

Department: Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering

Guillaume -Zoppi

I am an associate professor in the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering involved in research and learning and teaching activities.

I graduated from the Université de Savoie in France in 1998 with a DUT "Mesures Physiques". I then joined Northumbria University where I completed a BSc (Hons) in Applied Physics and MSc in Optoelectronics & Communication Systems. I was awarded a PhD in Physics from Durham University in 2005 for a thesis on thin film solar cells on a collaborative project with Bangor University. In 2005, I joined the photovoltaic group at Northumbria University to conduct research on photovoltaic solar cells based on CuInSe2 and related materials as part of the EPSRC funded project "SUPERGEN PV21 Photovoltaic Materials for the 21st Century". I joined the academic team of the Faculty of Engineering & Environment at Northumbria university in 2012.

I currently teach fundamental experimental skills in physics and engineering covering a broad range of concepts: laser diffraction, atomic spectroscopy, Hall effect and optical properties of semiconductors, and gravity to name a few. I also endeavour to demonstrate to students the role and value of error analysis in scientific measurements as well as practising key skills in the dissemination of scientific content.

My research background is in the area of thin film photovoltaics where layers 1 or 2 microns thick are used to absorb sun light and generate electricity. Despite half a century of tremendous progress the technology offers so much more and the prospects are very exciting. As an experimentalist I like spending my time whenever possible in the lab getting involved with the team in fabricating or characterising new layers and structures. Getting your first working device is always an event and I remember mine even though it was a long time ago.

Outside of work my spare time is spent exercising and I tend to train every day. I love cycling and swimming competing in short time trials. I used my scientific mind in data analysis of my cycling and training with graphs, tables and statistics to better my performance.

Campus Address

Ellison Building

0191 243 7013


BSc (Hons), MSc, PhD

Research Themes and Scholarly Interests

My main research activities fall within the themes described below. More details about my research can be found on the NUPV site


  • Thin film photovoltaic (PV). Also called second generation PV this technology allows light absorbing material reduction without too much prejudice on efficiency. I am involved in fundamental research on a range of materials including cadmium telluride, kesterite based absorber and other chalcogenides.
  • Intermediate band solar cells. Using quantum dots in first generation PV devices such as GaAs it is possible to exceed the fundamental Shockley-Queisser solar energy conversion limit. This concept, still undemonstrated experimentally, would yield a significant cost reduction in PV generated electricity.

Current/Recent Projects

  • North East Centre for Energy Materials (NECEM) (EPSRC EP/R021503/1), 2017-2020, Co-Investigator, £330k within a £2.2M programme (100% fEC value).
  • CZTSSe Solar Cells from Nanoparticle Inks (EPSRC EP/N024389/1), 2016-2018, Principal Investigator, £117k (100% fEC value).
  • Development of Efficient low Cost Photovoltaic Solar Cells Based on the use of Tin Sulphide Absorber Layers (UKIERI/DST IND/CONT/E/13-14/657), 2014-2016, Principal Investigator, £14k within a £22k programme (100% fEC value).
  • A Low Cost Nanostructure Fabrication System for Sustainable Solar Paint (Royal Society RG120090), 2012-2013, Co-Investigator, £12,000 (100% fEC value).
  • Shunt resistor development (HEIF Project), 2013, Co-Investigator, £6,000.
  • SUPERGEN Photovoltaic Materials for the 21st Century (EPSRC EP/F029624/2), 2008-2012, named researcher (PDRA).

Key Publications

Y. Qu, G. Zoppi, N. S. Beattie, Selenization kinetics in Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 solar cells prepared from nanoparticle inks, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells IN PRESS  (2016) Y. Qu, G. Zoppi and N. S. Beattie, The role of nanoparticle inks in determining the performance of solution processed Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 thin film solar cells, Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, 24 (2016) 836-845

Y. Qu, G. Zoppi, R. W. Miles, N. S. Beattie, Influence of Reaction Conditions on the Properties of  Solution-Processed Cu2ZnSnS4 Nanocrystals, Materials Research Express, 1 (2014) 045040

Hayashi, Takao, Minemoto, Takashi, Zoppi, Guillaume, Forbes, Ian, Tanaka, Kenji, Yamada, Satoshi, Araki, Tsutomu and Takakura, Hideyuki (2009) Effect of composition gradient in Cu(In,Al)Se2 solar cells. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 93 (6-7). pp. 922-925. ISSN 0927-0248

Zoppi, Guillaume, Forbes, Ian, Miles, Robert, Dale, Phillip, Scragg, Jonathan and Peter, L. M. (2009) Cu2ZnSnSe4 thin film solar cells produced by selenisation of magnetron sputtered precursors. Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, 17 (5). pp. 315-319. ISSN 1062-7995

Zoppi, Guillaume, Beattie, Neil, Major, J. D., Miles, Robert and Forbes, Ian (2011) Electrical, morphological and structural properties of RF magnetron sputtered Mo thin films for application in thin film photovoltaic solar cells. Journal of Materials Science, 46 (14). pp. 4913-4921. ISSN 0022-2461

Berg, Dominik, Djemour, Rabie, Gütay, Levent, Zoppi, Guillaume, Siebentritt, Susanne and Dale, Phillip (2012) Thin film solar cells based on the ternary compound Cu2SnS3. Thin Solid Films, 520 (19). pp. 6291-6294. ISSN 0040-6090

Aninat, Rémi, Zoppi, Guillaume, Tempez, Agnès, Chapon, Patrick, Beattie, Neil, Miles, Robert and Forbes, Ian (2013) Crystallographic properties and elemental migration in two-stage prepared CuIn1?xAlxSe2 thin films for photovoltaic applications. Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 566. pp. 180-186. ISSN 0925-8388

Maiello, Pietro, Zoppi, Guillaume, Miles, Robert, Pearsall, Nicola and Forbes, Ian (2013) Chalcogenisation of CuSb metallic precursors into Cu3Sb(SexS1-x)3. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 113. pp. 186-194. ISSN 0927-0248

Further Information

My research profile is on Google Scholar

To view my Northumbria Research Link page click here


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