Dr Alan Dunbar

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Senior Lecturer in Energy

REF Co-ordinator

Dr Alan Dunbar
+44 114 222 7551

Full contact details

Dr Alan Dunbar
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Room G56
Sir Robert Hadfield Building
Mappin Street
S1 3JD

I attained my MPhys in Physics with Electronics at UMIST (Manchester) in 1997, and my PhD entitled `Preparation and characterisation of Silicon – Germanium quantum dots´ in 2001 under the supervision of Dr M. Halsall. After my PhD, I moved to the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand to work for two years with Associate Professor Simon Brown investigating the electrical properties of metallic nano-particles. I applied percolation theory to explain the onset of conduction in thin films of deposited nano-particles in conjunction with morphological data obtained by atomic force microscopy and electron microscopy.

I then returned to the UK to begin working in the University of Sheffield's Department of Physics and Astronomy where I developed gas sensors for volatile organic compounds with Dr T. Richardson. The porphyrin based gas sensors undergo strong colour changes upon exposure to specific toxic gases which co-ordinate to the porphyrin as axial ligands.

I then took up a research post working with Prof. R. Jones FRS and Prof D Lidzey focused on the optimization of polymer based solar cells through understanding how the nano-scale morphology of the thin polymer films wthin the devices influences the device efficiency. This involved in situ spectroscopic ellipsometry and x-ray reflectivity to investigate the development of phase separation during the deposition of the thin films of solar cell materials.

In 2009 I was appointed as lecturer in energy in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biological at the University of Sheffield, and in 2010 I took on the role of first year tutor. In Jan 2014 I took on the role of Post Graduate Research Tutor, and then in Sept 2014 became Director of Student Support. In 2015 I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Energy. I now lead an active and diverse research group studying various research interests.

Research interests
  • Polymer Based Solar Cells
  • Experimental techniques to characterise nano-scale phase separation in polymers
  • Thin film toxic gas sensors
  • Electrical properties of nano-structured systems

Journal articles

Conference proceedings papers

  • Aguilar-Dominguez D, Ejeh J, Dunbar ADF & Brown SF (2021) Machine learning approach for electric vehicle availability forecast to provide vehicle-to-home services. Energy Reports, Vol. 7(Suppl 2) (pp 71-80). Virtual conference, 12 January 2021 - 13 January 2021. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Salehi A, Naderi P, Boroumand FA & Dunbar A (2018) Fabrication and characterization of hybrid photovoltaic devices based on N-type GaAs and polymer composites. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference of Energy Harvesting, Storage, and Transfer (EHST'18) (pp 116-1-116-10). Niagara Falls, Canada, 7 June 2018 - 9 June 2018. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Dunbar A, Richardson TH, McNaughton AJ, Barford W, Hutchinson J & Hunter CA (2006) Understanding the interactions of porphryin LB films with NO2. COLLOIDS AND SURFACES A-PHYSICOCHEMICAL AND ENGINEERING ASPECTS, Vol. 284 (pp 339-344) RIS download Bibtex download
  • McNaughton AJ, Richardson TH, Barford W, Dunbar A, Hutchinson J & Hunter CA (2006) Characterisation of the reaction of free-base porphyrin to nitrogen dioxide. COLLOIDS AND SURFACES A-PHYSICOCHEMICAL AND ENGINEERING ASPECTS, Vol. 284 (pp 345-349) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Ayesh AI, Partridge JG, Brown SA, Reichel R & Dunbar ADF (2005) Assembly of bismuth clusters into nanowires using etched V-grooves as templates. Conference on Optoelectronic and Microelectronic Materials and Devices, Proceedings, COMMAD (pp 327-330) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Dunbar ADF, Partridge JG, Schulze M, Scott S & Brown SA (2003) Measurement of the Conductivity Exponent in Random Percolating Networks of Nanoscale Bismuth Clusters.. ICMENS (pp 350-356) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Partridge J, Scott S, Dunbar A, Schulze M, Brown SA, Wurl A & Blaikie R (2003) Formation of electrically conducting mesoscale wires through self-assembly of atomic clusters. Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, Vol. 5118 (pp 411-420) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Schmelzer Jr. J, Brown SA, Schulze M, Dunbar A, Partridge J, Gourley S, Ramsay B, Wurl A, Hyslop M & Blaikie R (2003) Formation of Nanowires at the Percolation Threshold in Rectangular 2D Systems. Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering, Vol. 5055 (pp 189-203) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Dunbar ADF, Halsall MP, Bangert U, Harvey A, Dawson P, Joyce BA, Zhang J & Berbezier I (2001) Studies of compositional variations in germanium quantum dots grown on silicon. Materials Research Society Symposium - Proceedings, Vol. 638 (pp F1451-F1456) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Dunbar A, Hall S, Halsall M & Bangert U (1997) Investigations of ordering in AlGaInP. MICROSCOPY OF SEMICONDUCTING MATERIALS 1997(157) (pp 257-260) RIS download Bibtex download
Teaching activities
  • CPE430/ CPE6000 Low Carbon Energy, Science and Technology
  • CPE1002 Chemical Engineering Design (Chemical Process Principles 1)
  • CPE101/110