Optimising light in super high efficiency solar cells.



Research areas


There are 1.3 billion people in the world that don't have access to electricity. To provide this while simultaneously accomodating higher electricty demand from developed countries is a significant technological challenge. Doing so equitably and sustainably and without contributing to climate change is even trickier. One possible way is with photovoltaics. If we can make the next generation of super high efficiency photovoltaics achievable and affordable, it will go a long way towards a distributed, democratised electricity grid for the world. This particular project will examine and optimise the path of light through high-efficiency tandem solar cells. Using wave-optics, semiconductor physics and matlab programming, this project will explore light-matter interactions on the nanoscale, leading to design recommendations for light management in tandem devices currently being fabricated at the ANU.


Develop design principles for light management in tandem solar cells. Gain familiarity and expertise with wave-optics in thin layers, semiconductor device physics, and object-oriented programming in matlab.


1st year physics Semiconductors (ENG3334) and Electromagnetism (PHYS2016) would be helpful, but aren't essential.

Background Literature

Chapter 1 and 2 Niraj Lal's PhD thesis Cavendish Laboratory University of Cambridge, UK 2012


Knowledge of solar cell operation Experience with programming Understanding of light-matter interactions on the nanoscale


optics, photovoltaics, plasmonics, solar energy

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