CDU advances with solar power research


Hooman Mehdizadeh Rad showing the NT’s first organic solar cell with Professor Jai Singh AM.

Hooman Mehdizadeh Rad showing the NT’s first organic solar cell with Professor Jai Singh AM.

Charles Darwin University has started a new chapter in its bid to make organic solar cells more efficient and cost-effective.

Under the guidance of eminent physicist Professor Jai Singh AM, the Northern Territory’s first photovoltaic cell laboratory has been set up at CDU in Darwin.

Professor Singh said using past theoretical designs students could now fabricate solar cells experimentally in the lab.

He said it was an exciting step forward with PhD candidate Hooman Mehdizadeh Rad recently fabricating the first organic solar cell in the Territory.

“It will certainly make CDU more competitive in attracting researchers and scientists in the field of developing third generation solar cells,” Professor Singh said.

“We are still in the early stages of experimentation, but we hope to be commercially competitive in development soon.

“Third generation organic solar cells are cheaper, flexible, thinner and more lightweight than inorganic prototypes.”

Professor Singh’s research on solar cells and material science has already led to improvements in the efficiency and capability of solar technology.

“With more research, it is envisioned everyday items such as curtains will convert sunlight into household electricity with photovoltaic cells.”

Hooman said an internship to the Hong Kong Baptist University introduced him to experimentation in developing solar power.

“I was privileged to work with Professor Furong Zhu, a former PhD candidate of Professor Singh, who is now a leading scientist in his own right,” he said.

“I learned a great deal in the fundamentals of setting up a lab and fabricating solar cells. I’m excited to be part of this experimentation in solar cell research at CDU.”

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