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Department of Physics

The Cavendish Laboratory


2018 – present: University Lecturer, Department of Physics and Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge

2016 – 2018: Staff Scientist and Karles Fellow, US Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC

2013 – 2016: National Academy of Sciences, Research Associate, US Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC

2012 – 2013: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Imperial College London


My research focuses on the development of advanced, high efficiency III-V photovoltaics for applications including space power and power in remote locations, where device properties such as solar energy conversion efficiency, radiation tolerance, weight and form factor can be critically improtant. Many aspects of modern life including agriculture, defense, emergency services and individual mobile connectivity are dependent on these systems to provide ubiquitous functionalities such as communications, navigation, precision timing, meteorological data and real-time imaging. My research seeks to develop novel materials and device architectures to power these systems.


Key publications: 
  • L. C. Hirst, N. A. Kotulak, S. Tomasulo, J. Abell, M. González, M. K. Yakes, J. R. Meyer, R. J. Walters, C. Song, P. Specht, P. Ercius and C. Kisielowski. “Imaging atomic scale clustering in III-V semiconductor alloys”, ACS nano (2017)
  • L. C. Hirst, M. K. Yakes, J. H. Warner, M. F. Bennett, K. J. Schmieder, R. J. Walters, and P. P. Jenkins. “Intrinsic radiation tolerance of ultra-thin GaAs solar cells” Appl. Phys. Lett. 109(3): 033908 (2016)
  • L. C. Hirst, M. P. Lumb, J. Abell, C. T. Ellis, J. G. Tischler, I. Vurgaftman, J. R. Meyer, R. J. Walters, M. González. “Spatially indirect radiative recombination in InAlAsSb grown lattice-matched to InP by molecular beam epitaxy” J. Appl. Phys. 117(21):215704 (2015) 
  • L. C. Hirst, R. J. Walters, M. F. Führer, N. J. Ekins-Daukes. “Experimental demonstration of hot-carrier photo-current in an InGaAs quantum well solar cell” Appl. Phys. Lett. 104(23):231115 (2014)
  • L. C. Hirst, H. Fujii, Y. Wang, M. Sugiyama, N. J. Ekins-Daukes. “Hot carriers in quantum wells for photovoltaic efficiency enhancement” IEEE J. Photovolt. 4(1):244-252 (2014)
  • L. C. Hirst, N. J. Ekins-Daukes, “Fundamental losses in solar cells” Prog. Photovolt. 9(3):286-293 (2011)
Assistant Professor, Department of Physics and Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy
Dr Louise  Hirst

Contact Details

Room 358B, Mott Building
Department of Physics
Cavendish Laboratory
JJ Thomson Avenue
+44 (0)1223 331538


Person keywords: 
Experimental condensed matter physics
Energy Materials