Dr Alastair Buckley

Photo of Al Buckley

Senior Lecturer in Organic Electronics

Contact details

Group web page

Materials Physics Group


I joined the department in September 2008 following 8 years leading research and development in emerging technology company MicroEmissive Displays. Before that I graduated with a chemical physics degree and a PhD in spectroscopic measurements of discharge lighting. In industry I was responsible for researching and designing polymer light emitting device architectures and manufacturing schemes for integration with CMOS microelectronic displays (a bit like the ones in Google glass or in virtual reality goggles).


Teaching Summary

PHY346 – Group industrial project in physics. This module gives students the opportunity to develop team work skills in the context of a real industrial project with a client organization.
PHY248 – Physics with Labview. This is a module in which computer programming is used as a problem solving tool in the context of complex instrumentation problems.
PHY337/4437 – Physics in an enterprise culture. This module gives students an opportunity to develop and test their own ideas for business.
PHY250 – I teach differential equations as part of the second year core physics module.
I am one of the academic directors of the White Rose Industrial Physics Academy. An cross university project to enhance the skills base of physics graduate for technical industry. www.wripa.ac.uk
I am an academic lead for the level 2 Achieve More programme. This is a University wide initiative to prove a broader and more interdisciplinary education for all undergraduates.


Research Summary

Currently I have three complementary research themes relating to energy. Only key papers are given.
The first theme covers electrode interfaces, devices and manufacturing processes for polymer optoelectronics [1,2] and the photophysics of molecular materials [3]. This is the backbone of my research, building on my industrial expertise. I have supervised 5 PhD’s in this field. My research highlight [3] is the statistical experimental determination of the distance power law for energy transfer between molecules in a dielectric matrix.
The second theme covers the field performance and integration of PV systems into the UK electricity network [4,5]. This research now dominates my portfolio with an industrial contract with National Grid to provide methods to calculate the contribution of PV power on the UK transmission network. The as developed methods are now live in the National Grid control room. This work has been funded through a combination of research council, industry and higher education innovation funding and as a result of continued grant capture I now direct the largest UK research database of PV performance (Microgen database).
The third theme investigates future energy systems through collaborative knowledge production. This work was completed in conjunction with social science and humanities researchers and is linked to themes 1 and 2. It attracted a large EPSRC grant following on from University seed funding of a 3 student PhD network. [6,7]
Public facing PV performance analysis site: www.microgen-database.org.uk
PV live now cast data and API: www.solar.sheffield.ac.uk/pvlive/


[1] J. Griffin, D. C. Watters, H. Yi, A. Iraqi, D. Lidzey and A. R. Buckley. The Influence of MoOx Anode Stoicheometry on the Performance of Bulk Heterojunction Polymer Solar Cells. Advanced Energy Materials. Vol. 3, (2013) 903–908.
[2] A. R. Buckley (Editor and chapter author). Organic light emitting diodes – Materials, devices and applications. Woodhead 2013.
[3] A. P. Green and A. R. Buckley. Solid state concentration quenching of organic fluorophores in PMMA. Phys Chem. Chem Phys. Vol 17. (2015) 1435-1440
[4] G. Colantuono, A. Everard, L. M. H. Hall and A. R. Buckley. Monitoring nationwide ensembles of PV generators: Limitations and uncertainties. The case of the UK. Solar Energy. Vol. 108 (2014) 252-263
[5] J Taylor, J. Leloux, A. Everard, J. Briggs, L. M. H. Hall and A. R. Buckley. Performance of distributed PV in the UK. A statistical analysis of over 7000 systems. Proceedings of the 31st European solar energy conference. Hamburg. 2015. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.2019.6568
[6] Anna Krzywoszynska, Alastair Buckley, Huw Birch, Matt Watson, Prue Chiles, Jose Mawyin, Helen Holmes & Nicky Gregson. Co-producing Energy Futures. Building Research Information. Vol 44. pp804-815 (2016) http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09613218.2016.1211838
[7] A review of energy systems modelling in the UK. Prevalent usage and categorization. Lisa M.H.Hall and Alastair Buckley. Applied Energy. Vol 169 (2015) pp607-628. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306261916301672