Henry Snaith

2018 United Kingdom Award Winner — Faculty

Henry Snaith

Current Position:
Professor of Physics, Group Leader Photovoltaics and Optoelectronics Device group, Department of Physics

University of Oxford

Condensed Matter Physics

Recognized for: Developing new low-cost and high-efficiency photovoltaic devices and technologies based on metal halide perovskite materials

Areas of Research Interest and Expertise:  Photovoltaics, Solar Cells, Optoelectronics, Materials Processing and Characterizations, Device Physics


Msci, Physics, University of Bristol, UK
PhD and Postdoc, Physics, University of Cambridge, UK (Advisor: Prof. Sir Richard H. Friend)
Postdoc, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland (Advisor: Prof. Michael Grätzel)
Junior Research Fellow, Clare College, University of Cambridge, UK
RCUK Fellow/Reader, Senior Research Fellow, and Professor, University of Oxford, UK

Prof. Snaith has striven to develop new low cost photovoltaic technologies based on simply processed materials, which have promised to deliver solar energy at a fraction of the cost of incumbent silicon modules. Since 2012, his research has led to a transformation in the photovoltaics research community. Through a series of key discoveries, he found that metal halide perovskite materials, which had been overlooked for decades because of their very low photovoltaic energy efficiency in earlier days, can be employed as thin film absorber layers in highly efficient solar cells. Prof. Snaith has significantly raised the energy efficiency of the perovskite solar cells from 10.9% in his first publication to over 22% in single junctions, and more recently to 25% by combining perovskites with crystalline silicon cells. Potentially, the perovskite-on-silicon tandem cells may deliver a photovoltaic technology capable to surpassing the 30% efficiency mark, making them very promising for industrial applications. Another huge benefit of these perovskite solar cells Prof. Snaith has found is their low cost, thanks to the solution based materials processing method and the simple layered device structures. He has also significantly improved long-term stability of perovskite solar cells and discovered numerous key fundamental aspects of the perovskites semiconductors, which helped broaden the application range of these materials to light emission, radiation detection, memory, and sensing. Prof. Snaith’s work toward a significant cost reduction in photovoltaic solar power and semiconductor industry will propel the human society to a sustainable future.

“I have been remarkably fortunate to discover that this previously unexplored family of materials, metal halide perovskites, are like no other semiconductor material studied before, and promise to be transformative in photovoltaic solar energy. It is a huge honor to be the inaugural Blavatnik UK Laureate in the Physical Sciences.”

Key Publications:

  1. M. M. Lee, J. Teuscher, T. Miyasaka, T. N. Murakami, H. J. Snaith. Efficient hybrid solar cells based on meso-superstructured organometal halide perovskites. Science, 2012.
  2. M. Liu, M. B. Johnston, H. J. Snaith. Efficient planar heterojunction perovskite solar cells by vapour deposition. Nature, 2013.
  3. D.P. McMeekin, G. Sadoughi, W. Rehman, G. E. Eperon, M. Saliba, M. T. Hörantner, A. Haghighirad, N. Sakai, L. Korte, B. Rech, M. B. Johnston, L. M. Herz, H. J. Snaith. A mixed-cation lead mixed-halide perovskite absorber for tandem solar cells. Science, 2016.
  4. G. E. Eperon, T. Leijtens, K. A. Bush, R. Prasanna, T. Green, J. T.-W. Wang, D. P. McMeekin, G. Volonakis, R. L. Milot, R. May, A. Palmstrom, D. J. Slotcavage, R. A. Belisle, J. B. Patel, E. S. Parrott, R. J. Sutton, W. Ma, F. Moghadam, B. Conings, A. Babayigit, H.-G. Boyen, S. Bent, F. Giustino, L. M. Herz, M. B. Johnston, M. D. McGehee, H. J. Snaith. Perovskite-perovskite tandem photovoltaics with optimized band gaps. Science, 2016.

Other Honors:

2017 Named 1st Equal in Clarivate Analytical world’s “Hottest Researchers”
2017 Clarivate Citation Laureate
2017 Royal Society Kavli Medal and Lecture
2016 EU-40 Materials Prize, EMRS Early Career Award
2016 Named as “the 2nd Most Influential Scientific Mind by Thomson Reuters”
2015 Elected as Fellow of the Royal Society
2015 IEEE PVSC Young Professional Award
2014 Materials Research Society Outstanding Young Investigator Award
2013 Selected as one of “Nature’s 10” people who mattered most in 2013
2012 Paterson Medal and Prize, Institute of Physics Early Career Award


November 2017

Oxford Mail -Oxford University professor Henry Snaith is quietly planning to revolutionise the global energy industry with crystal-powered solar
Born2nvest - 7 energy startups that are shaking up the industry
WIRED  - Meet the startups changing the future of energy
Energy News Cyprus - Meet the startups changing the future of energy
eeDesignIt - Energy sector revolution is being led by startups

September 2017

Compound Semiconductor - Oxford PV Founder Awarded Citation Laureate
PV Magazine - Oxford PV’s Henry Snaith named 2017 Citation Laureate
PV Magazine - Oxford PV among Technology Review’s top 50 most innovative companies of 2017
Tech Site - Henry Snaith tipped to receive the Nobel prize in chemistry in 2017
NyTeknick - Solcellsforskaren Henry Snaith tippas få Nobelpriset i kemi 2017
The Engineer - Femotosecon events dictate efficiency of future solar cells
Phys.org - Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells

December 2017

4-Traders- European Investment Trust : Oxford PV receives European backing with 15 million of EIB funding
Renewable Energy World - Finance Institutions Are Making a Massive Investment in Solar
Solar Power Portal Oxford PV receives European backing with 15 million of EIB funding
Altered Energy - Oxford PV receives European backing with 15 million of EIB funding
ElectrekEGEB: Climate change rap, Oxford PV $15M for perovskite factory, more
PV Europe Oxford PV granted financing for perovskite serial production
PV Tech European Investment Bank awards 15 million to commercialise Oxford PV’s perovskite technology
Photovoltaik Oxford PV bekommt Geld für Serienfertigung von Persowskiten
German PV Magazine - Oxford Photovoltaics bekommt 15 Millionen Euro für Perowskit-Solarzellen-Produktion
Oxford Times Oxford’s revolutionary solar panel tech firm wins £13m funding – from the EU
Märkische Allgemeine - 15 Millionen Euro für Solartechnik aus Oxford
Finance Magazine (Germany)- Weitere Finanzierungen
Electrek Stamford solar researchers put contract out to assassin flies – aiming for 26.4% solar cells
University News - Over £13m In EU loans Awarded To Oxford University Professor’s Solar Panel Technology Firm
OxSTU Oxford university professor’s tech firm wins £13m in EU funding
Oxford Mail - Solar panel revolution man ranked as one of the “hottest” scientists in the world
PV Magazine - Oxford PV’s Henry Snaith top 2017 highly cited researcher
North American Clean Energy - Perovskite Leader’s Co-Founder Acknowledged as one of the World most influential Researchers

January 2018

OSA Direct - Oxford PV to get European Investment Bank funds for German perovskite pilot site
PV Solar News - European Investment Bank awards €15 million to commercialise Oxford PV’s perovskite technology