6 Mar 2024

WISE Fellow talks about solar cells at the WISE Dialogue 2024

Originally from Germany, Associate Professor Ute Cappel has spent most of her academic career between the United Kingdom and Sweden. Now, she is back in Sweden and has recently started a new position as WISE Fellow at Uppsala University. Scheduled to present her research at the upcoming WISE Dialogue on March 14-15, Dr. Cappel brings a wealth of expertise on solar cells to the Dialogue.

After earning her undergraduate degree in Chemical Physics from the University of Bristol in the UK, Dr. Cappel moved to Uppsala in Sweden to pursue her PhD in Chemistry.  Following this, she had several postdoctoral positions, including a Marie-Curie fellowship at Imperial College, London. In 2017, she started her own research group when she became Assistant Professor in the Chemistry Department at the Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (KTH) in Sweden. Now returning to Uppsala University, Associate Professor Cappel has assumed her role as a WISE Fellow at the Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Dr. Cappel’s research is focused on the characterization of materials for solar cells and their stability. She uses photoelectron spectroscopy (PES) to understand the process of converting light into electricity that occurs in solar cells.  One of her goals is to overcome the challenge of probing beyond the surface of a material and reach deeper layers (PES is a surface technique). Dr. Cappel’s work primarily revolves around perovskites, a class of materials showing promise for solar cell applications. However, she expects to provide fundamental understanding that will pave the way for the discovery of novel and sustainable materials for solar cells.

– I really appreciate that due to my background in Physics and Chemistry I can move between the two disciplines quite easily, which has helped me a lot to tackle my research questions, says Ute.

During her presentation at the WISE Dialogue in Gothenburg, Sweden, she will discuss where solar cell technology is today, and will introduce synchrotrons and PES and their role in materials research. She will showcase how these advanced techniques enable real-time observations of materials in action, offering invaluable insights into their behavior and performance.  For example, she can see how they break or stop working.

-I hope that during my presentation I can inspire PhD students and postdocs to use this fantastic opportunity of being in a program such as WISE, that provides an amazing network and such a broad perspective on issues such as sustainability. Do not ever forget why you are doing the things you are doing! encourages Ute.

To learn more about Dr. Ute Cappel’s research at WISE visit: