Helen Tunstall Garcia

Helen (Nell) joined the group as a PhD student in October 2019. Originally from the Basque Country in Spain, she graduated in 2019 with a First Class MChem in Chemistry from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. Outside the lab, Nell enjoys travelling, singing and playing board games.

Current Research

Nell’s research is based on the engineering of luminescent solar downshifters as part of the ERC funded SPECTRACON project. The work involves the templating of host materials, with a more in-depth focus on light-concentrating devices and the controlled placement of luminophores. The goal of this research is to reduce the energy losses in downshifting devices and improve the efficiency of photovoltaic cells. This project combines synthetic and polymer chemistry, as well as structural and photophysical characterisation of the downshifting materials.


H. Tunstall-Garcia, B. L. Charles and R. C. Evans, The Role of Polyhedral Oligomeric Silsesquioxanes in Optical Applications, Adv. Photonics Res., 2021, 2, 2000196.


Materials Chemistry Frontiers Outstanding Poster Presentation Prize at the 15th International Conference on Materials Chemistry (MC15) 2021. Poster title: Organosiloxane-based Photopolymers as Hosts for Downshifting Luminescent Spectral Converters.


Cambridge Festival 2022 – Electricity from colourful windows.

Cambridge Festival 2021 – Channelling light using glow-in-the-dark dyes.