Our People

The minds behind the success of our research

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

Dr Nino BOROJEVIC

Why is your research important? 

Very generally speaking, it contributes to the main goal of driving the efficiency of solar cells up and the cost down.

Why do you like research? 

Applying my passion and creativity to explore the unknown, not to mention that it is helping humanity.

What do you like to do when you are not saving the world?

Enjoy it.

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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.

Why do you like research? 

Being able to work with many creative minds to explore the behaviour of different semiconductors through crazy ideas and novel methodologies....

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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 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 recombination mechanisms, especially from the defects in the absorber....

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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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PhD Students

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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 imaging system....

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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.

What do you like to do when you are not saving the world?

Enjoy food, sleep, travel.

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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 in research, you need to develop a large and diverse set of qualities....

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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 lifelong useful skills.  

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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 into the temperature-dependent performance....

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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....

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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....

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Syed NAZMUS SAKIB

Why is your research important?

The main goal of my research is to make a better planet for the future generation by making clean energy cheaper and more affordable to the people of the world. By introducing novel methods and innovative techniques, solar photovoltaics will lead the energy sector towards a sustainable infrastructure. Through extensive research, my target is to obtain the best possible methods for characterization and unleashing new techniques for understanding the defects.... 

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Alumni

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. Contributing to solving big and important problems....

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....

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 long-term stability of copper-plated solar cells...

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