Research Field: Surface and Interface Science
Dr Scholes is working to improve the future of solar energy and the potential for flexible and cost effective solutions. She has applied her expertise in the characterisation of surfaces and interfaces to high sensitivity chemical detection, self-healing paint coatings, and organic solar cells, including for better paint systems for aircraft. Her work focuses on organic photovoltaics (OPVs) and improving their energy conversion efficiency.
The light-harvesting component of OPVs is based on small organic molecules or polymers where photons are absorbed and converted to conduction electrons. Fiona works to understand what these interfaces look like, and to control and modify them in order to improve OPV energy conversion efficiency.
Fiona has been a panellist on radio show ‘Einstein-A-Go-Go’ on Melbourne community radio station RRR since 2002. She has engaged in numerous public engagement events, including the CSIRO Student Research Scheme, the CSIRO Cutting Edge Lecture Series for secondary school science teachers, a workshop for women in science, and the CHASS Expanding Horizons Workshop at Parliament House for enhancing understanding and collaborations between science and the arts.
Currently Fiona is mentoring an undergraduate science student through the Doxa Youth Foundation Cadetship Program for disadvantaged young people, and organising a course in public science communication for CSIRO post-doctoral researchers.