In addition to absorbing visible light, as required for an effective solar cell, silicon, and other PV materials, also emit light in the near infra-red. This emission, or luminescence, contains a great deal of information about the underlying optical and electronic processes occurring within the material, especially when the luminescence can be measured in a spectrally-resolved manner. In this project we will use state-of-the-art experimental facilities in the PV labs at ANU to measure such luminescence spectra with very high precision. Combined with detailed physical modelling, these spectra, and their temperature dependence, will then be used to extract fundamental information about the material, including band-gaps, absorption coefficients, intrinsic carrier densities, and effective masses of electrons and holes. These approaches can be applied to both silicon and other PV materials such as perovskites, which are actively studied by other groups in the PV labs at ANU.
The project will be experimentally intensive, and will include working with a laser-based confocal microscope and other optical spectroscopy equipment. It will also include detailed physical modelling of the luminescence processes. It would suit a student with a background in semiconductor engineering or physics. The project will be supervised by Prof Daniel Macdonald and Dr Hieu Nguyen at ANU, and will involve collaboration with the ANU perovskite group and researchers at UNSW.