Unravelling the Mysteries of Perovskites for a Quantum Leap in Solar Cell Performance

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Research areas

Description

Certain members of the group of materials known as Perovskites are showing exceptional promise for solar applications, due to a range of unusual and intriguing properties. It is a hot topic which has spawned an exceptional number of high-impact publications in the last 2 years in journals such as Science and Nature.

High efficiency Perovskite solar cells are relatively easy to fabricate in the laboratory with relatively simple equipment. The complexity of the material, in terms of its crystal structure, the wide variety of Perovskites that can be synthesized and the wide range of unusual electronic and optical properties displayed, means that there is great scope to improve performance further through better understanding of the various properties. In addition, stability issues need to be addressed. If these challenges can be overcome, Perovskites hold the promise of enabling a quantum leap in solar cell efficiencies.

Researchers at the ANU are at forefront of global research efforts in this field. We have been able to demonstrate some of the highest conversion efficiencies achieved and are making substantial contributions to the understanding of the materials and the devices through the application of advanced characterisation and fabrication techniques.

Research projects can be offered that investigate several key challenges.

·      Investigation of the degradation mechanisms in Perovskite cells, and identification of means of addressing these

·      Development of high efficiency Perovskite cells, through improvements in the cell architecture and the use of different Perovskite materials

·      Development and characterisation of Perovskite / Silicon tandem solar cells, with the goal of beating the world record silicon cell efficiency (currently 25.6%)

·      Development of novel characterisation methods and advanced modelling tools to improve the understanding of the materials and devices

The work will be done in our new facilities dedicated to Perovskite research and is part of a coordinated research effort involving a team of over a dozen PhD students, postdocs, honours students and academics. The work may directly contribute to a 4-year, ARENA funded project involving ANU, UNSW and Monash University titled “High-Efficiency Silicon/Perovskite Tandem Cells and Modules: Demonstration and Commercial Evaluation”

Goals

Research projects can be offered that investigate several key challenges.

·       Investigation of the degradation mechanisms in Perovskite cells, and identification of means of addressing these

·       Development of high efficiency Perovskite cells, through improvements in the cell architecture and the use of different Perovskite materials

·       Development and characterisation of Perovskite / Silicon tandem solar cells, with the goal of beating the world record silicon cell efficiency (currently 25.6%)

·       Development of novel characterisation methods and advanced modelling tools to improve the understanding of the materials and devices

·       Optical modelling of Perovskite cells

Requirements

Background in semiconductors and/or materials/chemistry. For hons students, a high level of academic achievement (usually tracking H1)

Gain

High level research skills and expertise in various areas in characterisation / modelling / solar cell fabrication / semiconductor physics / materials science For exceptional domestic PhD students, a significant scholarship top-up may be available.

Updated:  8 September 2015/Responsible Officer:  Head of School/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing