Dr Xiaojing Hao

The University of nsw

I was very fortunate to be given an opportunity to complete my PhD studies under the supervision of Professor Martin Green, in a university that was dedicated to progressing PV technology.  At the time it was the only one of its kind in the country that specialised in this area.

I completed my PhD into silicon quantum dot based all-silicon tandem solar cells. It is an important area of research, lead by the University of New South Wales, as it is aimed to develop a new type of technology that could make it possible to reach the 50c/Watt-peak mark using photovoltaic solar cells. Such low cost per Watt could make photovoltaics a true contender in the production of green electricity.

My research demonstrated silicon quantum dots embedded in a SiO2 matrix, leading to the development of quantum dot size and thereby bandgap control, the primary requirement for application in tandem cells. It also demonstrated the doping of quantum silicon dots, and I went on to fabricate the first full silicon quantum dot junction solar cell demonstrating diode behaviour and improved open-circuit voltage.This outcome is a significant step towards the realisation of all-silicon tandem solar cells.

The ASI Postdoctoral Fellowship has allowed me to take a lead role in setting up a new group at UNSW dedicated to developing terawatt level applications of PV using Copper-Zinc-Tin-Sulphide (CZTS) thin film solar cells.

The proposed thin film solar cell is based on benign, readily available and stable materials processed by economic methods, which are scalable to mass production and which offer a significant decrease in embedded energy in photovoltaic structures while increasing cell performance.

The fellowship supports my salary for three years which will allow me to focus on my own area of expertise and help the University build up a new program within the School of Photovoltaics.

It costs a lot of money to run experiments and buy the necessary equipment, so as well as contacting industry partners for in kind and financial support, Martin and I were also successful in applying for competitive funding from the Australian Research Council.

This funding has helped me to build up a new group on CZTS, including ARC Discovery Project and ARC Linkage Project.  In the first 12 months we have been able to appoint two PhD students and a research assistant. I am extremely proud of this funding, as it is extremely competitive and demonstrates the promise of the technology and the people we have working with us.

The ASI fellowship was an important step to me as it really set me out on this path where I am passionate about and could make a difference. Equally important to me is the connections fostered between fellows and ASI team.

Xiaojing Hao's story (PDF 889KB)

If you think you have what it takes to become an ASI Postdoctoral Fellow, download the guidelines and application form.