I am currently a DECRA fellow in the School of Photovoltaics and Renewable Energy Engineering, working on multi-junction (MJ) silicon (Si) solar cells for biomedical applications (see Research Activities).
I obtained my Diplom in Physics from the Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Germany and worked towards my PhD at the Institute for Solar Energy Research Hameln (ISFH) in Hamelin, Germany, under supervision of Professor Niels Peter Harder, Professor Robby Peibst and Professor Tobias Wietler. My thesis research focussed on ion implanted, large area back-contact Si solar cells and on highly carrier selective poly-Si contacts for c-Si solar cells.
After receiving my PhD in electrical engineering from the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover in Germany I moved to Sydney, Australia to work with Professor Alison Lennon at UNSW on inkjet and laser patterning processes for plated contacts for large area back-contacted Si solar cells and together with Professor Bram Hoex, on doped poly-Si passivating contacts. In 2018 I started my DFG (German Research Foundation) Research Fellowship at UNSW on inkjet printed doping of poly-Si contacts and in 2020 I joined the research Groups of A/Prof. Nicholas Ekins-Daukes and Dr. Stephen Bremner, where I worked on fabrication processes for III-V and III-V on Si solar cells.
In my DECRA fellowship which started in mid 2021, I am aiming to fabricate multi-junction photodiode arrays for use in brain machine interfaces like retinal implants.
Background: Two of the main causes of vision loss, retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration, are caused by a degeneration of photoreceptors in the retina, while the remaining visual pathway stays intact. By placing electrodes in the retina, it is possible to electrically stimulate the remaining intact neural tissue and restoring vision.
The School of Photovoltaic & Renewable Energy Engineering within the UNSW Faculty of Engineering has been at the leading edge of solar cell development for over 30 years, reporting many world record solar cell efficiencies. In a collaboration with the UNSW Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering we are now aiming to develop solar cells that can stimulate nervous tissue upon illumination and to fabricate arrays of small solar cells as prototypes for wireless retinal prostheses and other light powered brain machine interfaces.
My Research Supervision
I am supervising second to fourth year students in the Vertically-Integrated Project (VIP) “Mini Solar”, a project based course at UNSW, hold by Professor Alison Lennon, aiming to teach students to design and fabricate millimetre-sized PV devices that can provide a continuous source of power for Internet-of Things (IoT) sensors and medical implants by charging an on-chip Li-ion battery. As subproject leader (PV Device) I organise the design, fabrication and modelling of the miniature Si solar cell arrays.