Introduction to the Network:

The International Research and Research Training Scheme (IRRTF) at the University of Melbourne has supported the establishment of a research network; “The Asian Research Network for Characterising Semi-Conducting Materials at High Spatial and Temporal Resolution”.

The aims of the Network are to form collaborations between the University of Melbourne and key institutes in China and India to advance the development and characterisation of materials for the new generation of printed thin film photovoltaics. Organic and organic/inorganic hybrid semiconductor materials prepared by members of the network will be studied using a suite of new time-resolved optical microscopy approaches. Understanding the structure and mechanisms of charge generation are crucial to developing more efficient and robust devices and facilitate the rapid uptake of these alternative and cost effective solar energy sources. The network will provide access for staff and students to state-of-the-art complementary spectroscopy facilities at the participating institutions and will forge linkages between the research efforts in the three countries in solar renewable energy research. A key aim is to identify the factors that contribute to sub-optimal efficiencies currently exhibited by such devices. The network will support post-graduate and ECR exchanges between the collaborating institutions, and organise workshops concentrating on identifying and developing the most appropriate new methods for characterisation of these important materials. The objective is to establish the leading network for thin film solar cell research in the Asia region that will attract ongoing financial support and provide a link with other key international programs.

This Network will establish a critical mass of expertise in the ultrafast micro spectroscopic characterisation of semi-conductor materials for use in photovoltaic devices. This will include organic polymeric and small molecule systems, perovskites and semi-conductor nanoparticles. It is the intention that the new ideas that will emerge from this Network will lead to competitive collaborative funding applications in the three countries, and elsewhere, to continue the research programs into the future. This Asian Network will also make links with other advanced photovoltaic networks involving European and USA researchers and further broaden the opportunities for collaboration and funding.

The Network will lead to the establishment of new techniques, new experimental collaborations, and planning and review workshops will form part of the programme. Student and ECR exchanges will constitute a large part of this collaborative effort.

At its inception, the Network included the following people:

We have established the “International Joint Laboratory on Photonics” with a coalescence of the instrumentation and facilities of the participating institutions.