Dr Henner Kampwerth is the ACAP Optics and Characterisation Program Leader at UNSW Sydney.
- Characterisation of solar cells and materials, using static and dynamic optical techniques
- Design of new characterisation methods
- Design and optimisation of Photothermal Deflection Spectroscopy (PDS)
The Group: Optical Characterisation Techniques
The photovoltaic industry is constantly trying to decrease the cost-per-watt of solar cells. This is either achieved by (a) lowering the manufacturing costs, which involves the use of new manufacturing techniques and lower-quality materials without lowering the established cell efficiency or (b) the use of higher-efficiency cell designs without increasing the cost. Both approaches require the development of new, more accurate and easier-to-interpret measurement techniques. Lower-quality materials with their higher levels of impurities and defects need to be better understood. Also, higher-efficiency cell designs with their stricter process tolerances need to be monitored more precisely.
Our Centre, with its leading role in research and development for industry and academia, is particularly interested in measurement techniques that can produce accurate and meaningful data. The improvement of measurement techniques has a direct impact on both research activities and the optimisation of procedures used in manufacturing. The time and number of experiments needed to understand a certain phenomenon can be greatly reduced. A correct interpretation of these results is also a central concern.
This research group focuses primarily on the significant improvement of existing techniques and the development of completely new measurement concepts that would be of value for multiple research projects. From 2012 to end 2016, our research has focused especially on increasing the applicability of advanced time-resolved photoluminescence spectroscopy. Beginning of 2017, Dr Kampwerth focuses on the further development of the well-known technique of Photothermal Deflection Spectroscopy (PDS), a project that was initiated by his colleague and friend Dr Binesh Puthen Veettil.
The Photothermal Deflection Spectroscopy (PDS) technique is particularly suited to measure optical absorption properties of thin film semiconductors. Conventual measurement techniques often fail on such thin films. The PDS technique offers a dynamic range, that is 100 to 1000 times more sensitive compared to most other techniques. The PDS system is much used in our school to investigate the optical bandgap properties of various new compound semiconductors.