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Photovoltaic Engineering: Revolutionary Technologies for Silicon Solar Cells

Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering

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

About the Project

Solar photovoltaics and wind currently constitutes more than 60% 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 consumption. 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 as 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, led by Prof. Andrew Blakers to contribute directly towards this cause.

Specifically, the field of research is in the development and investigation of novel fabrication techniques for high-efficiency silicon solar cells such as Interdigitated-Back-Contact (IBC) solar cells, PERC and bifacial solar cells. In particular, this will involve development of advanced hetero-contact technologies, tunnel-oxide polysilicon contacts and various multi-purpose surface passivation films.
The PhD will be undertaken in our state-of-the-art laboratories, and our advanced fabrication and characterisation facilities. Our laboratories allow most of the semiconductor fabrication processes, such as diffusion (phosphorous and boron), oxidation, chemical vapour 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.

If successful, you 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 government and industry funded projects.

Funding Notes

We are offering a PhD scholarship 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


If you meet the HDR admission requirements (self-assessment on please send an e-mail directly to Dr. Kean ( with following information:
- Email subject: Prospective PhD for silicon PV
- Email body: please attach your latest CV, academic transcripts, and publications.
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