The group’s research activities are structured as follows:
- Fundamental thin film growth studies using atomic layer deposition (ALD). ALD offers unprecedented control of the material composition as the growth precursors that are used during the self-limiting reactions can be easily changed. This allows the synthesis of multilayer structures that can be tailored at the atomic scale towards desired material properties such as work function, phase, density and type of defects, etc. At UNSW we have set up an ALD system with in situ optical emission spectroscopy, quartz crystal microbalance, and spectroscopic ellipsometry. This system will uniquely allow the synthesis of a variety of thin films and support the swift integration of these films in various solar cell architectures and materials (e.g. CZTS and perovskite). This insight can be used to expedite the development of industrial processes, not restricted to ALD.
- Development of novel metrology techniques. These techniques are e.g. based on photoconductance decay or corona-voltage measurements to assess the functional properties of the developed materials. We have already developed a new method based on photoconductance decay where we have one journal paper accepted and another one under review.
- Assessment of the environmental stability of novel materials e.g. with respect to moisture and temperature.
- Device and process simulation using Technology Computer Aided Design (TCAD) to assist process and process development.
- Integration of passivation contacts with advanced hydrogenation
- Collaboration with equipment manufacturers to translate lab results to high-volume manufacturing equipment.
- Collaboration with solar cell manufacturers to translate research results to high-volume solar cell manufacturing
- Development and application of high-volume metrology to assist transfer of technology to industry.