From Lab to Fab: how nanoscale aluminium oxide enabled PERC and TOPCon to dominate the photovoltaic market

Professor Bram Hoex UNSW, Sydney

  • Start  Thursday 20 Apr 2023 4:00pm
  • Finish    Thursday 20 Apr 2023 6:00pm
  • Venue  Hume-Rothery Lecture Theatre
  • Postcode OX1 3PW
Professor Bram Hoex

A Special Departmental Colloquium

In this talk I will describe the development of nanoscale aluminium oxide for the passivation of p-type silicon surfaces from its initial discovery in the laboratory to its current dominance in the photovoltaic industry with annual production in excess of 200 GW in 2022.

I will start off with a high-level introduction into the fabrication of high-efficiency silicon solar cells, highlighting how physical and chemical properties of silicon are exploited to end up with the desired structure.

The talk will then go into depth into the fundamentals of surface passivation as well as the aluminium oxide material properties that make it such an excellent passivation layer for p-type silicon surfaces.

I will finish the talk by discussing some of the current trends in photovoltaics which still require innovation solutions from the field of Materials science.

Short biography:
Professor Bram Hoex completed an MSc and PhD degree from Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands in 2003 and 2008, respectively.  From 2008 to 2015 he worked at the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS) at the national University of Singapore (NUS) as a Group Leader, and from 2012 also as Director of the Silicon Materials and Cells Cluster.

In 2015 Professor Hoex  joined the School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering (SPREE) as UNSW Sydney where he currently serves as Deputy Head of School (Research).

During his career, Professor Hoex has raised over A$80M in competitive research funding of which A$23M as Lead Investigator.  He has published over 250 journal and conference papers and his research focuses on the development and application of nanoscale thin films in a wide range of devices, as well as performance and financial yield modelling, typically working in close collaboration with industry partners to ensure rapid technology transfer (see for more details).

Professor Hoex is best known for his ground-breaking work on aluminium oxide for crystalline silicon surface passivation which is now the de facto standard for industrial PERC and TOPCon solar cells.  He also pioneered the application of atomic layer deposition for silicon wafer solar cell manufacturing.

In 2018 Professor Hoex founded, which is aimed at becoming the de facto resource for photovoltaic manufacturing.  His work has received various international recognitions including the 2008 Solar World Junior Einstein, the 2016 IEEE PVSC Young Professional award, and he was listed in the ‘Solar 40 under 40 List’ globally by Renewable Energy World in 2018.

Everyone welcome – Register here

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