Research Overview

Recent Highlights

  • Perovskite paper & cover in new journal Joule[link]
  • Nature Comm paper on tunnel oxides[Link]
  • Nature Comm paper on solar cell degradation[Link]
  • RSC News on Energy Symposium at Bath[Link]

Profile

Saiful grew up in Crouch End, north London, and obtained his BSc and PhD degrees from University College London, completing his PhD under Professor Richard Catlow FRS. He then held a postdoctoral fellowship at the Eastman Kodak Labs in Rochester, New York, USA, working on oxide superconductors. Saiful returned to the UK to become Lecturer, then Reader, at the University of Surrey before joining the University of Bath in 2006 as Professor of Materials Chemistry. His research interests include computer modelling of new materials for lithium (and sodium) batteries and perovskite solar cells. He recently served on the Diversity Committee of the Royal Society and is a Patron of Humanists UK. Saiful presented the 80th anniversary Royal Institution Christmas Lectures (2016) on the theme of energy. His outside interests include family breaks (as a dad to two), indie music (The Smiths et al.), progressive politics and football.

  • 'Profile' in RSC news.View pdf

Recent Awards and Honours

  • RSC Peter Day Award for Materials Chemistry (2017)
  • Royal Institution Christmas Lecturer (2016)
  • Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award (2013-2018)
  • Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Sustainable Energy Award (2013)
  • RSC Materials Chemistry Division Lecturer Award (2011)
  • RSC Francis Bacon Medal for Fuel Cell Science (2008)
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC)(2008)

Research Overview: Materials for Clean Energy

In broad terms, our research programme combines advanced computer modelling methods with structural techniques in the study of new solid state materials for "clean energy" applications, as outlined below.

Olivine-structured LiFePO4

Lithium and Sodium Batteries: Electrodes and Solid Electrolytes

Rechargeable lithium batteries have helped in the worldwide revolution in portable electronics. However, next-generation batteries for electric vehicles and grid storage will rely on discovery and development of novel Li- and Na-ion conducting materials.

LiMnO2

Studies are being carried out on the following:
  • Compounds based on LiFePO4, Li2(Fe,Mn)SiO4 and Li-rich layered oxides for Li-ion battery cathodes, and alternative oxide systems TiO2(B) and layered LiVO2 for anodes;
  • Na-ion battery materials Nax(Ni,Mn)O2 and Na phosphates;
  • Solid electrolytes such as Li garnet, LISICON and NASICON materials.

CH3NH3PbI3

Solar Cells: Hybrid and Halide Perovskites

Solar cell materials based on organo-lead halide perovskites have shown rapid increases in solar-to-electricity conversion efficiencies. We are studying the defect, transport and stability issues of methylammonium lead halides (e.g. CH3NH3PbI3), and related mixed A-cation perovskite halides.


Silicate-based apatite with SiO4 tetrahedra

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: Oxide-Ion and Proton Conductors

The search for novel compounds with high oxide ion or proton conductivity has attracted considerable attention owing to their important applications as effective solid electrolytes in intermediate-temperature SOFCs. Here we are studying perovskite-type proton conductors (e.g. doped BaZrO3) and new oxide-ion conductors based on Si/Ge apatites and tetrahedral gallium oxides.