Our People

The minds behind the success of our research

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Associate Professor Ziv HAMEIRI

Why is your research important?

All the different aspects of my research aim to achieve the same goal: Making photovoltaics cheaper. I truly believe that solar energy (and a vegetarian diet) is the only way to save our planet. Through my research, I am trying to do my part to save the world faster.


What do you like about research?

The fact that my passion is also the main way to save the world. Working with very smart and creative people. Being challenged all the time. Discovering something that did not exist before.


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Research Fellows

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Dr Nino BOROJEVIC

Why is your research important?

The introduction of passivated contacts in solar cell designs has raised the bar for cell efficiencies in the recent years, demonstrating their potential to become a game changer for the PV industry. To fulfill this, a commercially viable integration of passivated contacts into high volume solar cell manufacturing is required which forms the core purpose of this research. The overall result should provide a technological pathway for PV manufactures to move on from the current low efficiency cell designs to more state-of-the-art concepts demonstrated recently. 


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Dr Yan ZHU

Why is your research important?

Characterization is essential for understanding the performance limiting factors for photovoltaic devices, not only for research but also for industry. Defects stimulate the recombination of photo-generated charge carriers. Therefore, controlling the defects is essential for improving the performance of photovoltaic devices. The continuing improvement of photovoltaic materials and device architectures also calls for new characterization techniques.



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Dr. Priya DWIVEDI

Why is your research important?

Artificial intelligence can learn patterns and correlations from data which could be difficult and expensive otherwise. I use machine learning algorithms to make photovoltaic (PV) technology even more efficient and cheaper. My research fastens the transition to PV-generated electricity around the world.


Why do you like research?

It is always exciting working on problems which have not been solved by anyone before.


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Dr John RODRIGUEZ

Why is your research important?  

Crystalline silicon solar cells with passivated contacts will be one of the most dominant and widely produced solar cell technologies in the coming decades. The development of high-efficiency passivated contact devices – and the next-generation materials needed for them – will drive the levelized cost of electricity to new lows and further cement photovoltaic energy’s place as the most cost-effective form of electricity generation we have available.


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Dr Arman MAHBOUBI SOUFIANI

Why is your research important?

Realization of characterization techniques with high reliability and throughput, which allow a better understanding of the nature of the defects in perovskites and their impact on device performance and stability. This is critical in letting this amazing semiconductor to play a significant role in achieving stable, high-efficiency tandem solar cells. This will eventually contribute to the bigger picture, the issue of securing cheap and clean energy for society.




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Dr Robert LEE CHIN

Why is your research important?

Helps the fundamental understanding of the nature of defects in solar materials. Luminescence in general is a versatile technique because it can be used to quantify losses from defects in solar cells at any stage of fabrication (precursors to cells) and any type of solar cell absorbers (from silicon to perovskites, III-V materials, kesterites). When combined with a microscope setup and different detection methods, such as spectrally-resolved and injection-dependent, you can extract rich information about the...


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Dr Brendan WRIGHT

Why is your research important?

Understanding the dynamics of complex physical systems is difficult. But the more you understand, the better your predictions of the future become. And who doesn't want to predict the future?


Why do you like research?

It is far more rewarding to explore the uncertain and discover the unknown than to shelter in the safety of established knowledge. Research improves your odds at glimpsing something truly new, if only by a little.


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Dr. Shuai NIE

Why is your research important?

Improving the understanding of the materials’ electrical properties, their temperature dependence and their impact on solar cell performance and energy yield in the field.


Why do you like research?

It always surprises me! Nothing will go according to plan and your expectations.




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PhD Students

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Yoann BURATTI

Why is your research important?

Bringing the power of artificial intelligence to the solar industry is key to driving further growth in our understanding and maintain the highest standards in quality and reliability of solar cells and modules.


Why do you like research?

Being able to work on a vast array of projects, all tied in with machine learning. Building an entire simulation and analysis pipeline from the ground-up is very rewarding, and the learnings along the way are strengthening...


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Anh Huy Tuan LE

Why is your research important?

Although transition metal oxides (TMO)-based solar cells are very promising with regards to device efficiency, TMO passivating contacts have been limited to small devices using deposition techniques that are impractical for industrial applications. My research is to develop TMO passivating contacts using common industrial techniques that can be easily integrated into existing manufacturing capacity. Furthermore, I investigate passivating contacts using advanced characterization techniques to gain a better understanding and more insights...


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Simon ZHANG

Why is your research important?

My research has two unifying themes: (1) introducing established characterisation techniques to novel fields within photovoltaics; (2) validating photovoltaic technologies for long-term field conditions. The former, under which both of my Suns-Voc projects fall, fills a gap in characterisation method development for different photovoltaic materials. It therefore has high potential to provide novel findings from previously unconsidered perspectives. My field-oriented studies aim to ensure that state-of-the-art technologies developed in the...


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Zubair ABDULLAH-VETTER

Why is your research important?

Combining artificial intelligence (AI) with the amazing UNSW-developed techniques, such as photoluminescence imaging, will bring new insights to the photovoltaic industry. My research assists developing higher standards for quality and reliability of photovoltaic devices. This is a critical need, especially these days during the very fast growth of the solar industry. The most crucial aspect of my research is its contribution to tackling climate change. With faster and more efficient AI driven analysis techniques, we can make better...


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Gaia Maria JAVIER

Why is your research important?

My research aims to develop algorithms that can improve the reliability and costs of photovoltaic systems. I think doing this will contribute to much needed efforts in making energy affordable, environment-friendly, and sustainable.


Why do you like research?

I enjoy learning new things, knowing why and how, and finding better solutions. With this knowledge, I can share it and help communities.




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Soma ZANDI

Why is your research important?

Designing high efficiency solar cells at low cost and high stability contributes to numerous environmental and social benefits, such as producing far less global warming emissions, and improving standards of living in areas with the lack of power infrastructure. Among various types of solar cells, perovskite based tandem cells has been known as a promising photovoltaic technology toward achieving these goals. That’s why I am motivated to work in this area. My research focuses on the development and the electro-optical modeling of perovskite-based...


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Alumni

Dr Robert DUMBRELL

Dr Robert DUMBRELL

Why is your research important?

The PV industry has been growing on the back of rapid cost reduction and efficiency improvements, but quality control in manufacturing has lagged behind other more mature industries. There is a large opportunity to implement state-of-the-art data analytics and inline metrology to improve quality, leading to more reliable PV products in the field, and cost savings to manufacturers.


Why do you like research?

Having freedom to work on topics that interest you...


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Dr Kyung KIM

Dr Kyung KIM

Why is your research important?

Recombination at the surface and contacts of silicon solar cells have become major limitations as silicon bulk carrier lifetime keeps increasing and the silicon wafer thickness keeps decreasing. Therefore, improving the quality of surface and contact passivation is a fundamental task in achieving higher efficiency solar cells. In addition, developing next generation solar cells with various concepts is also interesting and important to break through saturating solar cell efficiency.


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Dr Jack COLWELL

Dr Jack COLWELL

Why is your research important?

Copper is the best low-cost alternative to silver for solar cell metallisation. Not only is it 1000x more abundant and 100x cheaper, but high-performance patterning can achieve efficiency boosts through reduced resistive and shading losses. The risk of copper penetration and defect formation in electroplated solar cells is one of the primary factors that has prevented the widespread adoption of copper metallisation in industry. Understanding the mechanisms of copper defect formation (impacts of illumination, temperature, diffusion barriers) on the...


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Dr Raghavi BHOOPATHY

Dr Raghavi BHOOPATHY

Why is your research important?

Photovoltaic (PV) modules are prone to damages during transportation, installation and operation leading to high demand for module inspection in the field. Photoluminescence (PL) is a very powerful characterization method that can provide high resolution spatially resolved information of cells and modules in a contactless manner. One of the main challenges associated with luminescence-based outdoor module inspection is the strong ambient sunlight. During the course of my Ph.D., I developed the first-ever PL ...


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Saman JAFARI

Saman JAFARI

Why is your research important?

My research gives us a more fundamental perspective about well-known defects in silicon. In my research I try to look at these defects from a new angle using PCD measurement method. With this method we obtain a better understanding of these defects. This is an important step to minimize their impact on solar cells.


Why do you like research?

Research gives me the possibility to deal with challenges every day. In order to be successful...


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