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Nanotechnology for sustainable energy

Nano-materials for high performance solar applications

Our research programs include nano-functional-materials for thin film solar device; nano-coatings and nano-bonding for multi-functional thermal insulating solar glazing; nano-materials for efficient photovoltaic-electrochemical water splitting for clean hydrogen

Nano-functional-materials for thin film solar device

This program focusses on the research of high performance nano-scale thin-film photovoltaic devices involving semiconductors with strong optical-absorption, low non-radiative carrier recombination rates and high carrier mobility. Devices are designed using charge carrier transport layers with appropriate work functions for high carrier selectivity. Electrodes whether opaque or transparent are engineered for high conductivity and high transparency for the latter. This program also explores the science behind the functions of buffers layer for interfacing in both single-junction and multi-junction tandem solar cells. The understanding of materials properties in nano-scale is essential for explaining device behaviours and for developing strategies for stabilising these thin-film photovoltaic against intrinsic material defects as well as external environmental stresses. The aim is to develop nano-scale thin-film photovoltaic devices that are high performing with long lifetime and durability.

Our research group collaborates extensively with academic partners around the world including UNSW School of Photovoltaics and Renewable Engineering; the University of Sydney School of Chemistry; UNSW Materials Science; ANU School of Engineering; Kyoto University Department of Polymer Chemistry; Monash Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering; UNSW Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre; CSIRO Energy, Newcastle and CSIRO Manufacturing, Clayton and Korea Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology; and Oxford University School of Physics.

Nano coatings and nano bonding for multi-functional thermal insulating energy generating glazing

The smart solar window research program focusses on nano-bonding for glass-glass hermetic encapsulation suitable for photovoltaic-integrated-vacuum-insulated glazing. This program also researches on nano-coatings for tuning optical properties for light management as well as emittance engineering for thermal energy management. The aim is to develop high performance multi-functional (thermal insulating, sound proofing, energy generating as well as light and colour control) building-integrated-photovoltaics products. We work with various industry partners under the Australian Research Council Linkage program and Cooperative Research Centre Project program generating high impact commercially relevant outcomes.

Nano-materials for efficient photovoltaic-electrochemical water splitting for clean hydrogen

The photovoltaic-electrochemical (PV-EC) device research program focusses on designing and integrating low cost and high performance thin film and tandem photovoltaics for water splitting generating clean hydrogen. The program also researches on earth abundant and stable catalysts to replace noble-metal based catalysts, as well as novel PV-EC device architectures for new electrical contacting, feed-through designs enabling stable, low cost devices with high solar to hydrogen conversion efficiency. This program is supported the Australian Research Council Discovery Project collaborating with UNSW and Caltech.


Anita Ho-Baillie

John Hooke Chair of Nanoscience
  • Room 4013 Sydney Nanoscience Hub A31