Solar Cells

The development of renewable energy sources that are alternative to fossil fuels is a burgeoning scientific and technological field. Solar cells convert the energy of the sun to electricity with little or no emission to the environment. Reducing the cost of converting solar energy into electricity is a global endeavour that is attracting the attention of researchers worldwide.

Research activities in the Department of Materials Engineering have been focused on the development of low cost and light weight Dye Sensitized Solar Cells (DSSCs) and Organic Solar Cells (OSCs), new types of solar energy devices that are alternative photovoltaic technologies to silicon wafer-based solar cells.

  • Professor Yi-Bing Cheng is mainly working on the development of nanostructured electrodes and construction of solar cell devices, including flexible DSSCs on plastic substrates.
  • Dr Udo Bach is working on the fabrication of DSSCs on flexible substrates using solid-state and ionic liquid electrolytes and tandem DSSC devices.
  • Dr Chris McNeill is interested in OSCs based on semiconducting plastics.
  • Dr Jenny Pringle’s research area is focused around ionic liquids and conducting polymers for DSSCs applications.

The research team in the Department of Materials Engineering has close collaborations with researchers in the School of Chemistry (Monash University), University of Melbourne, University of Wollongong, CSIRO and other Australian and international institutions. Their research activities in this area are funded by the ARC, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) and the Victorian Consortium for Organic Solar Cells (VICOSC).

Active Researchers in this field