Henry Snaith is a physicist working on new materials and devices for photovoltaic solar energy conversion. His multi-disciplinary work spans activities that include new materials discovery and synthesis, device optimisation, and fundamental spectroscopic and theoretical investigations.
He discovered that a new type of solar cell material, named perovskites, can produce extremely efficient solar cells when integrated into a simple thin-film device, which are also very easy and cheap to manufacture. By combining perovskites with silicon, in so-called “tandem cells”, he has demonstrated solar conversion efficiencies far beyond what is possible with existing commercial photovoltaic (PV) technologies, which promises to deliver the next generation of improved PV for powering the world towards net zero.
As co-founder and Chief Scientific Offer of Oxford PV, Henry is closely involved in the commercialisation of this technology . Oxford PV is building the first full-scale production line based on his perovskite technology.
He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society at the age of 37, for starting a new field of research attracting both academic and industrial following. He has also won numerous awards and accolades – including the Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists; being named one of “Nature’s 10” people who mattered in 2013, by the international journal Nature; and he topped the rank of the world’s most influential scientific minds from 2015 to 2017, as judged by Thomson Reuters and Clarivate Analytical. He won the 2020 Becquerel Prize for his ground-breaking work on perovskite solar cells. Most recently, he won the Rank Prize for Optoelectronics 2022 along with six other leading scientists in the field for their contribution to optoelectronics.
In addition to his role at Oxford PV, Henry is also the Binks Professor of Renewable Energy in the Physics Department of the University of Oxford.