With optimised architecture, a single junction silicon solar cell has the potential to exceed conventional lambertian light trapping and achieve 31% conversion efficiency. The aim of this ToR project is to fabricate a solar cell that produces a short circuit current higher than it is possible using. This demonstration will be the first steppingstone towards the demonstration of a single junction solar cell that could set a new record for UNSW. We see a development like this as important as it was demonstrating a 25% efficient PERL cell in 1995. This efficiency demonstration was achieved in UNSW laboratories decades before such a level of performance could be reached at an industrial scale.


Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering

Research Area

High efficiency silicon solar cells

The school offers not only world class facilities for solar cell design, fabrication and characterisation but it is also teaming with world renowned researchers and dozens of PhD students always eager to share their knowledge and experience. The student will work closely with supervisor Dr. Li Wang who is a lecturer with experiences in design and fabricating tandem and silicon solar cells, co-supervisor Dr. Ivan Perez-Wurfl who is a senior lecturer with intensive research and teaching experience, and co-supervisor Dr. Zhenyu Sun who is a post-doc with knowledge and hands-on skills in solar cell fabrication. Their research background relates closely to the project where they can guide the student's work in both experimental and theoretical areas.

The student undertaking this project will learn how to demonstrate optical absorption beyond Lambertian light trapping and measure cell's short circuit current and compare to that expected from the optical measurements. The student will become proficient in lithography and texturing processes, optical absorption measurements, solar cell fabrication, I-V characterisation and numerical simulation programs including Quakka and FDTD. It is not expected that a highly efficient solar cell will be achieved in this short period of time. However, it will become a steppingstone for further thesis projects and potentially PhD research topic. The outputs of this research will lead to potential journal/conference publications.

ACAP research fellow
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  • Hsieh, ML., Kaiser, A., Bhattacharya, S. et al. Experimental demonstration of broadband solar absorption beyond the lambertian limit in certain thin silicon photonic crystals. Sci Rep 10, 11857 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-68704-w
  • Bhattacharya, S., John, S. Beyond 30% Conversion Efficiency in Silicon Solar Cells: A Numerical Demonstration. Sci Rep 9, 12482 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-48981-w
  • P. Campbell and M. A. Green, "The limiting efficiency of silicon solar cells under concentrated sunlight," in IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 234-239, Feb. 1986, doi: 10.1109/T-ED.1986.22472.