This project aims to develop recipes based on in-depth characterisation of various thin dielectrics for their application as hydrogenation source and passivation layers. The layers are deposited using plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) processes.

A key requirement in the recent development of highly efficient silicon solar cells is the outstanding passivation of their surfaces. Moreover, hydrogen from the passivation layer can diffuse into the silicon and be used to passivate defects throughout the bulk of the device. Using advanced characterisation techniques such as Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), quasi-steady-state photoconductance (QSSPC), ellipsometry and etc. will help to determine the optical and electrical properties of the dielectric layer qualities in order to improve the recipe development.


Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering

Research Area

Silicon solar cell | Surface passivation | Defect passivation

This project will be mainly supervised by Dr. Zhuangyi Zhou and Dr. Chukwuka Madumelu. Other support from the rest of the research team will also be provided, including Prof. Bram Hoex and other post-docs and research assistants. Experimental work will be conducted in SPREE and ANFF at UNSW. All facilities and equipment required for the completion of project are readily accessible.

Throughout the project duration, students are expected to carry out/obtain:

  1. Clear understanding of Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition (PECVD) tools and the impacts of the main deposition parameters, including pressure, gas composition, temperature and etc.
  2. In-depth literature review to understand how to characterize the electrical and optical properties of dielectric layers.
  3. Designing and performing experimental work to develop recipes for hydrogenation and surface passivation on solar cells.
  4. Analysis of the characterisation results of the PECVD deposited dielectric layers to evaluate the hydrogenation and surface passivation effects.
  5. Fabrication of high efficiency solar cells with novel dielectric layer designs using industry standard equipment.
  6. Opportunity for conference/journal paper publication
  7. Opportunity for thesis project/PhD program
Postdoc Research Fellow Zhuangyi Zhou
Postdoc Research Fellow
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Deputy Head of School (Research) Bram Hoex
Deputy Head of School (Research)