Dr Fiona J Beck

FERL Fellow
Senior Lecturer
Ian Ross (31), R220a
+61 2 619 70113

Dr Beck leads a research group focused on integrating nanophotonics and optoelectronic device design for applications in solar fuels and the next generation of photodetection technologies. She is also Convenor of the ANU ECI Hydrogen Economy Research Cluster.

Dr Beck currently holds a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA) from the ARC, as well as the Future Engineering Research Leader (FERL) Fellowship from the ANU. She joined the Research School of Engineering at The Australian National University as a research fellow and lecturer in 2015. She spent the previous 4 years as a Marie Curie Research Fellow at ICFO - The Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, Spain, employing plasmonics to enhance the performance of novel optoelectronic devices. She obtained a PhD from The ANU in 2011, with a thesis on designing plasmonic light trapping schemes for applications in solar cells. She has an MSci degree in Physics from The University of Glasgow, and was awarded the Eve and Ravenscroft prize for the most distinguished graduate from the Faculty of Physical Sciences.  

*** We are recruiting PhD students for solar hydrogen projects!***



Academic History

2019-present: Senior Lecturer and Research Fellow, Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering, ANU

2015-2018: Lecturer and Research Fellow, Research School of Engineering, ANU

2011-2014: Postdoctral Researcher, ICFO- Institute of Photonic Science, Barcelona, Spain

2007-2010: PhD in Nanophotonics for light trapping, College of Engineering and Computer Science, The Australian National University, Australia

2002-2006: First Class MSci in Physics, University of Glasgow, Scotland


2018: Zero-carbon energy for the Asia-Pacific, ANU Grand Challenges Scheme, Hydrogen Fuels Project Convenor, http://energy.anu.edu.au/eci-grand-challenge 

2018: Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) Research and Development Program Round 4: Renewable Hydrogen for Export, Low-Cost Perovskite/Silicon Semiconductors Integrated with Earth Abundant Catalysts for Efficient Solar Hydrogen Generation KC007

2018: ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award, Research School of Engineering, ANU, Plasmonic hot-electron technologies for nanoscale energy conversion, DE180100383

2016: ANU Major Equipment Committee Grant, Research School of Engineering, ANU, Photoelectrochemical Characterisation Facility

2014:  Future Engineering Research Leader Fellowship, Research School of Engineering, ANU, Nanostructured Optoelectronic Devices

2011-2013: Marie Curie Incoming International Fellowship, European FP7 People Framework, ICFO - Institute of Photonic Science, Barcelona, Spain, Plasmonically enhanced collodial quantum dot photovoltaics, FP7-299517-PECQDPV


My research spans the boundary between nano-scale optics and optoelectronic device design: harnessing an improved understanding of light-matter interactions to investigate new ways to convert light to other forms of energy.

Our research group brings together expertise in numerical simulations, device design and fabrication, and advanced characterisation to demonstrate proof-of-concept devices with the potential to impact a range of applications; including alternative energy production, and the next generation of photodetection technologies. 

For more info on what I do, and why, see:




*** We are recruiting PhD students for solar hydrogen projects!***



Research areas

  • nanophotonics
  • hot electron science
  • solar fuels





Further information and citation metrics can be found at my Google Scholar profile

Book Chapters

  1. F. J. Beck, S. Mokkapati, K. R. Catchpole, “Nanoplasmonics for light trapping in solar cells”, in Nanotechnology in Australia: Showcase of Early Career Research, edited by D. M. Kane, A. P. Micolich, and J. R. Rabeau, (Pan Stanford Publishing Pte. Ltd, 2011) Google books link
  2. S. Mokkapati, F. J. Beck, J. Wilson, E. Wang, K.R. Catchpole, “Nanophotonics for Light Trapping” in Nanotechnology Toward the Sustainocene, edited by T. A. Faunce, (CRC Press, 2014) Google books link

PhD Thesis

F. J. Beck, “Designing plasmonic nanoparticles for light trapping applications in solar cells”, PhD Thesis, The Australian National University, 2011.


Working papers and useful calculations

  1. Estimating the renewable power density avalable in Australia


Journal Publications

  1. D. A. Jacobs, Y. Wu, H. Shen, C. Barugkin, F. J. Beck, T. P. White, K. Weber and K. R. Catchpole, Hysteresis phenomena in perovskite solar cells: the many and varied effects of ionic accumulation”, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., (2017), 19 (4), 3094-3103, DOI: 10.1039/c6cp06989d.
  2. C. Barugkin, F. J. Beck, K. R. Catchpole, “Diffuse reflectors for improving light management in solar cells: a review and outlook”, J. Optics, 17, 2040, (2016), DOI:10.1088/2040-8978/19/1/014001
  3. X. Fu, D. A. Jacobs, F. J. Beck, T. Duong, H. Shen, K. R. Catchpole, T. P. White, “Photoluminescence study of time- and spatial – dependent light induced trap de-activation in CH3NH3PlI3 perovskite films”, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 18, 22557, (2016), DOI: 10.1039/c6cp03779h
  4. D. A. Jacobs, K. R. Catchpole, F. J. Beck, T. P. White, “A Re-Evaluation of Transparent Conductor Requirements for Thin-Film Solar Cells”, Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 4, 4490, (2016). DOI: 10.1039/C6TA01670G.
  5. F. J. Beck, A. Stavrinadis, J. P. Szczepanik, T. Lasanta, G. Konstantatos,“Understanding light trapping by resonant coupling to guided modes and the importance of the mode profile, Optics Express, 24(2), 759-772 (2016). DOI: 10.1364/OE.24.000759
  6. F. J. Beck, A. Stavrinadis, S. L. Diedenhofen, T. Lasanta, G. Konstantatos,“Surface plasmon polariton couplers for light trapping in thin-film absorbers and their application to colloidal quantum dot optoelectronics, ACS Photonics, 1, 11, 1197-1205 (2014). DOI: 10.1021/ph5002704
  7. F. J. Beck, T. Lasanta and G. Konstantatos, “Plasmonic Schottky nano-junctions for tailoring the photogeneration profile in thin film solar cells”, Advanced Optical Materials, 2, 493-500, (2014). DOI: 10.1002/adom.201300460
  8. A. Mihi, F. J. Beck, T. Lasanta, A. K. Rath and G. Konstantatos, “Imprinted electrodes for enhanced light trapping in solution processed solar cells”, Advanced Materials, 26, 443-448, (2013). DOI: 10.1002/adma.201303674
  9. A. Basch, F. J. Beck, T. Söderström, S. Varlamov, K. R. Catchpole,“Enhanced light trapping in solar cells using snow globe coating”, Progress in Photovoltaics, 20 (7), 837-842 (2012). DOI: 10.1002/pip.2240
  10. F. J. Beck, F. P. G. de Arquer, M. Bernechea, G. Konstantatos, “Electrical effects of metal nanoparticles embedded in ultra-thin colloidal quantum dot films”, Applied Physics Letters, 101, 041103 (2012). DOI: 10.1063/1.4738993
  11. A. Basch, F. J. Beck, T. Söderström, S. Varlamov, K. R. Catchpole, “Combined plasmonic and dielectric rear reflectors for enhanced photocurrent in solar cells”, Applied Physics Letters, 100, 243903 (2012). DOI:10.1063/1.4729290
  12. F. P. G. de Arquer, F. J. Beck, M. Bernechea, G. Konstantatos, “Plasmonic light trapping leads to responsivity increase in colloidal quantum dot photodetectors”, Applied Physics Letters, 100, 043101 (2012). DOI:10.1063/1.3678039
  13. F. J. Beck, S. Mokkapati, and K. R. Catchpole, “Light trapping with plasmonic particles: beyond the dipole model”, Optics Express, 19 (25), 25230 (2011). DOI: 10.1364/OE.19.025230
  14. F. P. G. de Arquer, F. J. Beck, G. Konstantatos, “Absorption Enhancement in Solution Processed Metal-Semiconductor Nanocomposites”, Optics Express, 19 (21), 21038-21049 (2011). DOI: 10.1364/OE.19.021038
  15. K. R. Catchpole, S. Mokkapati, F. J. Beck, E.-C. Wang, J. Lee, A. McKinley, A. Basch, “Plasmonics and nanophotonics for photovoltaics”, Materials Research Society Bulletin, July 2011.DOI:0.1557/mrs.2011.132
  16. K. R. Catchpole, S. Mokkapati, F. J. Beck, "Comparing nanowire, multi-junction and single junction solar cells in the presence of light trapping", Journal of Applied Physics, 109, 084519 (2011).DOI:10.1063/1.3579420
  17. S. Mokkapati, F. J. Beck, R. de Waele, A. Polman, K. R. Catchpole, “Resonant nano-antennas for light trapping in plasmonic solar cells”, Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics. 44, 185101, (2011). DOI:10.1088/0022-3727/44/18/185101
  18. S. Pillai, F. J. Beck, K. R. Catchpole, Z. Ouyang, M. A. Green, “The effect of dielectric spacer thickness on surface plasmon enhanced solar cells for front and rear side depositions”, Journal of Applied Physics, 109, 073105, (2011).DOI:10.1063/1.3567299
  19. F. J. Beck, E. Verhagen, S. Mokkapati, A. Polman, and K. R. Catchpole, “Resonant SPP modes supported by discrete metal nanoparticles on high-index substrates”, Optics Express, 19 (S2), A146, (2011).DOI: 10.1364/OE.19.00A146
  20. S. Mokkapati, F. J. Beck, K. R. Catchpole, “Analytical approach for design of blazed dielectric gratings for light trapping in solar cells¨, Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, 44, 055103, (2011).DOI: 10.1088/0022-3727/44/5/055103
  21. Z. Ouyang, S. Pillai, F. J. Beck, O. Kunz, S. Varlamov, K. R. Catchpole, P. Campbell, M. A. Green, “Effective light trapping in polycrystalline silicon thin-film solar cells by means of rear localised surface plasmons”, Applied Physics Letters, 96, 261109, (2010).DOI:10.1063/1.3460288
  22. F. J. Beck, S. Mokkapati, and K. R. Catchpole, “Plasmonic light-trapping for Si solar cells using self-assembled, Ag nanoparticles”, Progress in Photovoltaics, 18 (7), 500, (2010). DOI: 10.1002/pip.1006
  23. F. J. Beck, S. Mokkapati, A. Polman, and K. R. Catchpole, “Asymmetry in light-trapping by plasmonic nanoparticle arrays located on the front or on the rear of solar cells”, Applied Physics Letters, 96, 033113, (2010).DOI:10.1063/1.3292020
  24. S. Mokkapati, F. J. Beck, A. Polman and K. R. Catchpole, “Designing periodic arrays of metal nanoparticles for light-trapping applications in solar cells”, Applied Physics Letters, 95, 053115, (2009).DOI:10.1063/1.3200948
  25. F. J. Beck, A. Polman and K. R. Catchpole, “Tuneable light trapping for solar cells using localised surface plasmons”, Journal of Applied Physics, 105 (11), 114310, (2009).DOI:10.1063/1.3140609
  26. G. Gibson, L. Barron, F. J. Beck, G. Whyte and M. Padgett, “Optically controlled grippers for manipulating micron-sized particles”, New Journal of Physics, 9, 14, (2007).DOI:10.1088/1367-2630/9/1/014

Ms Noushin Dolati Ilkhechi »

PhD Student

Ms Astha Sharma »

PhD student

Shenyou Zhao »

PhD student


2018: CECS Dean’s Award for Teaching Excellence, “For her impactful use of active learning technologies within her classes”, Individual award.

2018: CECS Dean’s Award for contributions to Programs that Enhance Student Learning: For their pioneering efforts in developing enhanced feedback mechanisms and grading mechanisms” Team award.

2018: World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Scientist. Each year, the World Economic Forum honours 50 extraordinary scientists under the age of 40 for their contributions to advancing the frontiers of science, engineering and technology.

2010: Selected as an author for the Australian Research Council Nanotechnology Network Book Project.

2010: Nominated for the JG Crawford Prize at The Australian National University for the graduate students in the faculties of Science, Medicine and Engineering most deserving of recognition for the quality of their graduate work.

2006: Ede & Ravenscroft Prize, awarded annually to the most distinguished graduate of the Physical Sciences Faculty at the University of Glasgow. 



2018 Women in Energy Committee

2018 CECS Diversity and Inclusion Committee

start 2018- present: Early Career Academic representative on the CECS Executive

start 2016- end 2017: Student Experience Coordinator for coursework students in RSE.

Student experience and engagement (SE) in the University context incorporates three main ideas: inspiring the active participation and interest of students in their academic studies; providing the services and opportunities necessary for students to fully integrate into college life; and facilitating the engagement of students with external organisations through outreach, internships and work experience in order to enrich their studies.



ENGN6000 series courses
Code Title Year 20.. Semester
ENGN6334 Semiconductors 18, 19, 20, 21 S2
ENGN3000 series courses
Code Title Year 20.. Semester
ENGN3334 Semiconductors 18, 19, 20 S2

Updated:  10 February 2019/Responsible Officer:  Dean, CECS/Page Contact:  CECS Marketing