Nanoengineering of Inteface Materials for Photovoltaic Devices

   School of Engineering

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  Dr Kean Chern Fong, Prof A.W. Blakers  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

In 2020, solar photovoltaic and wind constitutes more than 70% of global annual net new generation capacity. We are on the pivotal point of a massive revolution in favor of renewable energy sources. However, as impressive as the recent growth has been, renewable energy still only contributes towards <5% of the current global energy generation. It is therefore obvious that there is a desperate need for significant growth to make a timely difference in the current dire state of the global environmental crisis. Our generation is faced with an uphill task of enabling a rapid acceleration of renewable energy sources, in a revolution which currently sees silicon PV currently being the leading candidate towards becoming the primary and permanent source of a truly clean energy source for humanity.

We are therefore inviting like-minded PhD candidates to join our team of world-leading experts in the field of Silicon Photovoltaic technology, to contribute directly towards this cause.

Successful candidates will participate in a collaborative group environment, with direct mentoring from a panel of supervisors who are leading experts in the field, with the goal of contributing towards development of next-generation silicon PV technologies within industry-linked projects. Specifically, the field of research is in the nanoengineering of interface materials where you will be expected to develop, examine and optimise the optical and electrical properties of advanced metal-oxide based hetero-contact technologies, tunnel-oxide doped polysilicon layers and various metal-oxide based surface dielectric films for application on next-generation photovoltaic devices such as dopant-free interdigitated-back-contact (IBC) silicon solar cells, and perovskite-Silicon tandem solar cells.

The PhD will be undertaken in ANU’s state-of-the-art laboratories equipped with various semiconductor fabrication processes, such as diffusion (phosphorous and boron), oxidation, chemical vapour deposition (PECVD and LPCVD), sputtering, atomic-layer deposition, laser-based cutting and doping, photolithography, wet chemical processes, metal and semiconductor evaporation, metal plating, etc. Our characterisation facilities include state-of-the-art optical, electrical, and microscopic tools such as luminescence spectroscopy and imaging, solar simulator, transmission electron microscopes, focus ion beam tools, etc. The well established, world-class laboratory will serve as a great sand-box environment to nurture research creativity and as an excellent training ground for a future career in research and engineering in the field of advanced energy device manufacturing.

Funding Notes

We are offering to support for PhD candidacy in a competitive application in the field of photovoltaics at the Australian National University (ANU), based in Canberra, Australia. For the successful applicant, the scholarship fully covers the university fees and research expenses, and provides additional allowance to cover living costs for up to 3.5 years:
- Living allowance: AUD$ 30,000 per year
- Conference allowance: AUD$ 6,000 during PhD
- Relocation allowance: up to AUD$ 2,000


Please find out more about my research areas and research projects on
If you meet the HDR admission requirements (self-assessment on please send an e-mail directly to Dr Kean Chern Fong ( with following information:
- Email subject: Prospective PhD for silicon PV
- Email body: please provide:
- If possible, an estimation of your GPA rankings within the department. For example: 3rd out of 100, 5th out of 400, Top 1%, Top 2%, etc.
- GPA / Result of each degree, as well as your transcript
- DOI links to your *first-author* publications. List of any other relevant research achievements.
- Your academic & research background, experiences, and research interests.
- When you expect to start your PhD if successful.
- Attachments: CV, academic transcripts, and an additional PDF file which includes certificates of prizes, awards, recognitions or any other supporting evidence.
Initial assessment is based on the information you provide. In case critical information (e.g. GPA results) is missing your application cannot be considered. Please make sure to address the recipient correctly. Obvious mass application e-mails will not be considered.
We are looking forward to seeing outstanding candidates joining our group.
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