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UofL’s renewable energy prize awarded

The Winner is University of Oxford’s Henry Snaith for improved solar cells
Henry Snaith

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Henry Snaith, professor of physics at the University of Oxford and co-founder and chief scientific officer of Oxford PV, has won the 2021 Leigh Ann Conn Prize for Renewable Energy from the University of Louisville. The prize recognizes outstanding renewable energy ideas and achievements with proven global impact.

Snaith is recognized for his work on the development of perovskite solar cell technology. This technology enables more electricity to be generated from sunlight, increasing the adoption of sustainable solar energy worldwide.

Snaith was one of the first people in the world to recognize the potential of metal halide perovskite, a crystalline semiconductor material, as a solar absorber and charge conductor in 2012. In the decade since, he has led the research community in advancing a fundamental understanding of perovskite materials and making them practically useful by improving device efficiencies, long-term stability and cost-effectiveness.  His ongoing research at the University of Oxford aims to increase the efficiency and durability of perovskite solar cells further with the goal of reducing the overall cost of electricity production.

Snaith’s work on perovskite materials has contributed to Oxford PV’s commercial plans for a perovskite-on-silicon tandem cell. These solar cells, which combine a layer of perovskite on top of conventional silicon, are poised to increase solar power’s practical conversion efficiency beyond 30% in the next decade.

In March, Snaith will give a public lecture in Louisville about his winning work and achievements, trials and tribulations. He will receive the Conn Prize medal and $50,000 award at a formal ceremony.

The UofL prize is named for the late daughter of Hank and Rebecca Conn, who are university alumni, supporters and prize benefactors.

“Henry Snaith is transforming the field of solar energy generation,” Hank Conn said. “It is exciting to celebrate a scientist with the fortitude, patience and resiliency to endure technology commercialization into the marketplace, where impact occurs. That recognition is Leigh Ann’s lasting legacy through the prize.”

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