Professor Henry Snaith, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Oxford Photovoltaics, has been recognised for his research into PV technology after being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.

Professor Snaith is the youngest person to be included in 2015’s intake which aims to represent the most prominent scientists, engineers and technologists living or working in the UK or Commonwealth.

Describing Professor Snaith’s achievements in solar research, the Royal Society said: “Professor Henry Snaith has pioneered the development of hybrid materials for energy and photovoltaics through an interdisciplinary combination of materials synthesis, device development, advanced optoelectronic characterisations and theoretical studies.

“He has created new materials with advanced functionality and enhanced understanding of fundamental mechanisms. His recent discovery of extremely efficient thin-film solar cells manufactured from organic-inorganic metal halide perovskites has reset aspirations within the photovoltaics community.

“His work has started a new field of research, attracting both academic and industrial following, propelled by the prospect of delivering a higher efficiency photovoltaic technology at a much lower cost than existing silicon PV.”

Professor Snaith’s work and company is focused on commercialising perovskite-based solar technology. Oxford PV claims that perovskite PV is the fastest improving solar cell technology. The company expects to sign its first licensing deal with a PV cell manufacturer next year.

Kevin Arthur, CEO and co-founder of Oxford PV said: “Henry deserves his place alongside other great scientists who have played a part in some of the most significant and life-changing discoveries in scientific history.

“This is a great honour for Henry and his research team and we hope it will raise the profile of the exciting developments Oxford PV is making in solar technology, which we believe will result in a transformational change across the world.”