Research highlights

Some of our notable research and commercial achievements are listed in the table below. This long list shows why we're regarded as world leaders in the field.


Record or Event - *indicates 1st in the world

2014 40% efficiency recorded for spectrum splitting concentrator*
2013 Martin Green elected to Royal Academy of Science
2012 New research facilities completed in Tyree Energy Technologies Building (opened 2012)
Martin Green received Order of Australia for service to science education
2011 Stuart Wenham received IEEE Electronic Devices JJ Ebers Award
19.4% efficient LDSE (laser-doped selective emitter) cell*
2010 Stuart Wenham received Engineer of the Year (Sydney Engineers Australia)
Martin Green received Eureka Prize for Leadership in Research
19.3% efficient laser doped solar cell*
2009 Stuart Wenham received IEEE William R Cherry Award
Martin Green received inaugural Zayed Future Energy Award (Abu Dhabi)
43% conversion efficiency for a multi-junction cell*
16.35% efficient module by Suntech using UNSW Pluto cells. (Pluto are the mass produced version of PERL cells)
"Best Paper" award at 24th European PV Solar Energy Conference (Hamburg) by Zi Ouyang et al.
2008 25.0% Si cell*
2005 CSG completes German factory for thin-film Si production 22.7% cell on n-type Si (22 cm2)*
2004 CSG Solar announces the impending manufacture of Pacific Solar's technology
Martin Green receives World Technology Award for Energy (San Francisco)
2003 10% Silicon Photoluminescence efficiency*
First graduates of the world's first undergraduate
Photovoltaic & Renewable Energy Engineering program*
Up-conversion efficiency of 1%*
Silicon photoluminescence efficiency above 10% demonstrated*
BP Solar opens 30 MW stage for buried contact cells at Tres Cantos, Spain
2002 Centre demonstrates Silicon quantum wellthickness dependent luminescence
Record efficiency of photoluminescence from bulk Silicon*
Pacific Solar reports 8.2% crystalline Si thin-film pilot-line module*
Center of Excellence in Advanced Silicon Photovoltaics and Photonics awarded
Buried contact cell sales under license to UNSW exceed $300 million
Martin Green awarded Alternative Nobel Prize for solar work (Stockholm)
2001 Solar technology produces first 1% efficient Si light emitting diode*
2000 World's fist undergraduate program in Photovoltaic Engineering starts*
Sydney 2000 Olympic Village powered by BP Solar Saturn cells
1999 24.7% Si cell*
24.5% cell on Czochralski-grown substrates*
Aurora 101 solar car wind World Solar Challenge with UNSW cells
Australia Prize to Martin Green and Stuart Wenham for solar work
1998 Pacific Solar announces pilot-line start-up (thin-film cells)
BP Announced Amoco merger eventually leading to construction of facility in Tres Cantos, Spain)
19.8% "honeycomb texture" multi-crystalline Si cell*
24.5% Si cell*
1997 18.2% planar multi-crystalline cell
22.7% efficient solar module*
1996 22.7% efficient solar module*
23.7% efficient large area cell (22cm²)*
"Honda Dream" solar car wins World Solar Challenge with UNSW manufactured cells
1995 Spin-off Pacific Solar Commences
Buried contact cell most successfully commercialised in last 15 years
17.6% multi-junction solar cell (20 Microns active thickness)
IEEE J.J.Ebers Award to Martin Green for solar work (Washington)
21.5% efficient thin silicon (47µm) cell*
1994 720 mV silicon cell* 24.0% Si cell*
15.2% multi-junction solar cell (20 microns active thickness)
1MW Union Fenosa system in Spain using licensed technology
1993 20.8% solar module* (world's first flat-plate module above 20% efficiency)
21.6% efficient large area cell (46cm2)*
550 kW system at Toledo, Spain using licensed technology (world's most efficient large PV system)
1992 717mV Si cell*
19.9% solar module*
First large system using licensed UNSW technology (24 kW system using BP Solar modules in Berne, Switzerland)
CSIRO Medal to Stuart Wenham and Martin Green for buried contact work
1991 600mV, 10% efficient thin-film Si cell (low T deposition)
BP Solar BP Solar releases "Saturn" module under licence (highest efficiency commercial module at 14.3%)
1990 23% efficient silicon cell*
25% Si concentrator cell
Spirit of Biel solar car wins World Solar Challenge (17% array fabricated by licensee, Telefunken)
IEEE William R. Cherry Award to Martin Green for solar work (Orlando)
1989 20.4% Sandia concentrator module (using UNSW Cells)* (world's first 20% efficient module)*
1988 18% efficient Si module*
17% efficient polycrystalline cell*
1985 World's first 20% efficient Si cell*
1983 18% efficient silicon cell*
1982 690mV* Si cell
1982 678mV* Si Cell 15% efficient MINP cell
1979 First Si cell to reach 650mV*
1978 First "15% active area" MIS cell*
1976 First MIS cell to reach 600mV*
1975 Group's first cell (Schottky grating)