James obtained a BA and MSci from the University of Cambridge. After a brief period working as a trainee patent attorney, he returned to Cambridge to take up research. He received his PhD in 2005 for work on novel single-photon detectors in partnership with Toshiba Research Europe Ltd. Following that, he switched to studying organic semiconductors and completed postdoctoral projects in University College London and in Professor Neil Greenham's group in Cambridge. In 2009, he took up a fellowship with Professor Dieter Neher in Universität Potsdam, Germany, where his work focused on characterising and modelling recombination and charge transport in organic photovoltaics besides lecturing on organic semiconductors and photovoltaics. In 2012, he returned to the UK to work for NPL. Since then he has participated in seven different European grant-funded research projects, as well as several internal and third-party funded projects and services.
James is an active member of the scientific community. He has more than 30 peer-reviewed publications, given invited and contributed presentations at many international conferences, and is an active referee for scientific journals.
James Blakesley joined NPL in 2012. His work concentrates on developing cutting-edge techniques for the characterisation and modelling of printed electronics, nanoelectronics, semiconductors and photovoltaics. In particular, this includes methods for understanding degradation processes, identifying defects and studying structural and electronic properties of materials and devices in situ and in operation. The aim is to develop and apply techniques to improve yields, performance of a new generation of devices for applications such as energy harvesting, smart packaging, sensors and medical implants.
He is currently a member of the IEC technical committee 82 on solar photovoltaic energy systems and is helping to develop new standards for energy rating of photovoltaic modules.