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FUTA Scholar Wins Commonwealth Research Award

Dr. Olajide Olusola, a Senior Lecturer in The Department of Physics, Federal University of Technology Akure FUTA has been named as one of the three winners of the 2022 Taylor and Francis Commonwealth Scholarship Commission CSC Research Impact Awards. Olusola’s winning entry was an article titled” Investigating the Effect of Gac13 Incorporation into the Usual Cdc12 Treatment on Cdte-Based Solar Cell Device Structures”

Conveying its decision to Olusola , the Research Impact Awards Team wrote, “Thank you for applying for the 2022 Taylor and Francis Commonwealth Scholarship Commission CSC Research Uptake and Implementation Stream. The Judges were highly impressed by your paper and this year have awarded an annual topical prize to an entrant whose research addresses or is contributing to clean energy, air and oceans. Congratulations on this fantastic achievement.”

The CSC Research output stream seeks to reward research published by current doctoral Scholars and alumni up to five years post-thesis submission date and the important real-world relevance of this and its potential impact in addressing global challenges related to the entrant’s field of study and home country.

The Taylor & Francis CSC Research implementation and uptake stream, sponsored by Taylor & Francis, is open to alumni 6-10 years post-thesis submission date. This stream seeks to identify and reward published research which has been implemented at a local/national/international level, and to understand its impact in addressing global challenges related to the entrant’s field of study and home country, and broader research uptake. Olajide is a 2012 Scholar from Nigeria who gained a PhD in Environmental and Sustainability Systems at Sheffield Hallam University. His article investigates the growth of compound semiconductors as suitable solar cell materials which can be used in clean renewable energy sources.

Olusola speaking on the award said ,“The research titled ‘Investigating the effect of GaCl 3 incorporation into the usual CdCl 2 treatment on CdTe-based solar cell device structures’ was implemented during my PhD research program at Sheffield Hallam University (SHU), Sheffield, United Kingdom. The research involved the growth of compound semiconductors (such as cadmium telluride (CdTe), cadmium sulphide (CdS) and zinc sulphide (ZnS)) as suitable solar cell materials that can find application in clean renewable solar energy sources.

These materials were developed using a low – cost electrodeposition growth technique. For efficiency improvement, reproducibility and scalability of these materials for mass utilisation, the semiconductors

were subjected to surface treatment using different chemicals and post deposition annealing for the improvement of solar cell parameters. From the experimental investigations carried out in the work, it was observed that the combination of GaCl 3 and CdCl 2 chemicals in treating the top surface layer of the device structure led to efficiency enhancement.

The knowledge gained in the research has created a platform for the present researches being carried out by our research team at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, (FUTA) Nigeria. Numerous scholars at undergraduate and postgraduate levels have been trained on the technology behind the development of thin film semiconductor materials for electronic device fabrication, solar energy generation and utilization. Some of our trained graduate students have been privileged to win research grants for further educational study in the field of Solar Energy and Material Science in developed countries. All these could be attributed to the interest they have developed over the years during their tutoring. The research interests created in their hearts have thus provided an enabling environment for their research to thrive beyond the present time.

Apart from the materials developed during my PhD research at SHU, Sheffield, United Kingdom, other semiconductor materials have been grown in our FUTA – based laboratory and they have been and still being currently studied as solar cell materials for solar energy applications. The development of these materials for solar cell applications has contributed to the technical know-how of our local research team. Some of the currently investigated materials are molybdenum di-sulphide (MOS 2 ), molybdenum di-telluride (MOTe 2 ), copper selenide (CuSe), zinc telluride (ZnTe), gallium selenide (GaSe), aluminium selenide (AlSe), gallium selenide (Al 2 GaSe 3 ), CdS, CdTe, ZnS.

The investigated materials for solar cells applications will help to solve some of the currently ravaging global issues such as environmental pollution caused by fossil fuels burning and usage. Through the implementation of clean energy sources, the United Nations sustainable development goals most especially goal 7 which is affordable and clean energy or access to sustainable energy will thus be achieved.”

In a congratulatory message the Vice Chancellor, Professor Adenike Oladiji lauded Olusola describing the award as a commendable feat. She said FUTA scholars are always setting the pace for the country in intellectual discourse , cutting edge research and technological advancement.

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