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Professor Neil Beattie


Department: Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering

I am a Professor of Energy Innovation and the Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU).

Before joining Northumbria University in 2009, I completed a PhD in physics at the University of Cambridge (Cavendish Laboratory) in 2005. This work was sponsored by Toshiba (EPSRC CASE award) and was in the field of semiconductor devices for quantum information. Following my PhD, I worked as an Innovation Consultant from 2005-2009 on behalf of clients including Shell, P&G, Rolls-Royce and Boeing.

At Northumbria University, I belong to the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering and in 2013/14 led the launch of complete new undergraduate provision in physics. These programmes now have over a hundred graduates and are accredited by the Institute of Physics.

My research is in the area of photovoltaics and in 2017, together with colleagues in the region, we created the EPSRC-ISCF North East Centre for Energy Materials (NECEM). This brought together a coherent base of research excellence in energy materials and systems and was a key element in securing Northumbria University's first EPSRC CDT.

The combination of my academic track record and industrial experience has allowed me to develop specialism in strategic research leadership and innovation. I am now using these skills to establish and lead Energy Futures - a diverse and inclusive community of academics across different disciplines at Northumbria University with the common aim of decarbonisation through research impact.


Neil Beattie

Campus Address

Ellison Building

I have a background in semiconductor physics and have applied this to the field of photovoltaics (PV). In particular I now specialise in solution-processed inorganic thin film PV using materials such as Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4. At Northumbria University, we have distictive materials fabrication capability that allows us to make thin film solar cells from substrates such as glass and foils through to the photovoltaic absorber, charge transport layers and electrical contacts. In addition to complete device fabrication, we also use a wide range of materials characterisation techniques to understand fundamental physics and engineering relating to defects, interfaces and optoelectronic behaviour. In 2019, I was awarded an EPSRC Adventurous Manufacturing grant (EP/T005491/1) to assess the feasibility of creating a transformative new sub-field, Product Integrated Photovoltaics. This has allowed me to perform research into manufacturing techniques and develop new capabilities at Northumbria University.

  • Please visit the Pure Research Information Portal for further information
  • Crystalline Antimony Selenide Thin Films for Optoelectronics through Photonic Curing, Wijesinghe, U., Tetlow, W., Maiello, P., Fleck, N., O'Dowd, G., Beattie, N., Longo, G., Hutter, O. 25 Jun 2024, In: Chemistry of Materials
  • Ecodesign of kesterite nanoparticles for thin film photovoltaics at laboratory scale, Qu, Y., Zoppi, G., Woolley, E., Jones, L., Kartopu, G., Maiello, P., Campbell, S., Jones, M., Punathil, P., Beattie, N., Willis, B., Cheung, W., Holland, A., Barrioz, V., Oklobia, O. 12 Jul 2024, In: ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
  • A comparison of ZnO nanowires grown using hexamethylenetetramine and ammonium hydroxide on Al:ZnO nanoparticle seed layer, Matheson, E., Qu, Y., Kartopu, G., Etherington, M., Zoppi, G., Barrioz, V., Beattie, N. 26 Jul 2023, In: Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics
  • A structural, optical and electrical comparison between physical vapour deposition and slot-die deposition of Al:ZnO (AZO), Matheson, E., Xu, X., Qu, Y., Zoppi, G., Barrioz, V., Beattie, N. 1 Jun 2023, In: MRS Advances
  • Enhanced carrier collection in Cd/In-based dual buffers in kesterite thin film solar cells from nanoparticle inks, Campbell, S., Zoppi, G., Bowen, L., Maiello, P., Barrioz, V., Beattie, N., Qu, Y. 13 Nov 2023, In: ACS Applied Energy Materials
  • Slot-die Fabrication of Solution-processed Kesterite Solar Cells for Product Integrated Photovoltaics, Xu, X., Naylor, M., Jones, M., Ford, B., Campbell, S., Qu, Y., Barrioz, V., Zoppi, G., Beattie, N. Feb 2023, 2022 IEEE 49th Photovoltaics Specialists Conference (PVSC), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
  • Elimination of the carbon-rich layer in Cu2ZnSn(S, Se)4 absorbers prepared from nanoparticle inks, Campbell, S., Duchamp, M., Beattie, N., Jones, M., Zoppi, G., Barrioz, V., Qu, Y. 5 Jun 2022, 2022 IEEE 49th Photovoltaics Specialists Conference (PVSC), IEEE
  • Exploring the Role of Temperature and Hole Transport Layer on the Ribbon Orientation and Efficiency of Sb2Se3 cells Deposited via Thermal Evaporation, Voyce, R., Campbell, S., Hutter, O., Zoppi, G., Beattie, N., Gibson, E., Barrioz, V. 5 Jun 2022, 2022 IEEE 49th Photovoltaics Specialists Conference (PVSC), IEEE
  • Ex-situ Ge-doping of CZTS Nanocrystals and CZTSSe Solar Absorber Films, Naylor, M., Tiwari, D., Sheppard, A., Laverock, J., Campbell, S., Ford, B., Xu, X., Jones, M., Qu, Y., Maiello, P., Barrioz, V., Beattie, N., Fox, N., Fermin, D., Zoppi, G. 1 Oct 2022, In: Faraday Discussions
  • Recovery mechanisms in aged kesterite solar cells, Campbell, S., Duchamp, M., Ford, B., Jones, M., Nguyen, L., Naylor, M., Xu, X., Maiello, P., Zoppi, G., Barrioz, V., Beattie, N., Qu, Y. 23 May 2022, In: ACS Applied Energy Materials

  • Bethany Willis The Manufacturing and Life Cycle Assessment of Novel Photovoltaic Devices Start Date: 01/10/2022
  • Yongtao Qu Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 Solar Cells Prepared from Cu2ZnSnS4 Nanoparticle Inks Start Date: 22/10/2012 End Date: 05/04/2016
  • Yuan Shi Investigation of a Novel Air Source Heat Pump Test Platform Start Date: 31/01/2011 End Date: 24/01/2013
  • Ewan Matheson Structural and optical properties of solution processed ZnO nanostructures. Start Date: 01/10/2019
  • Bethan Ford Investigation of Kesterite Solar Cells on Molybdenum Foil Substrates Start Date: 01/10/2018 End Date: 10/09/2022
  • Xinya Xu Flexible Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 solar cells made from nanoparticle inks Start Date: 01/10/2015 End Date: 30/05/2019




Photovoltaics Research Group:



Energy Futures


Google Scholar Profile

  • Other Qualification December 01 2014
  • Education PCAPL June 03 2011
  • Physics PhD October 01 2000
  • Physics BSc (Hons) October 01 1996
  • Fellow (FHEA) Higher Education Academy (HEA) 2014
  • Member Institute of Physics (IOP) 2014

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