Associate Professor Baohua Jia
Research Field: Nanophotonics
Swinburne University of Technology
The world is experiencing a serious climate problem, with extreme heat and coldness, storm, mist, flood and fire occurring more frequently than before. In Australia, bushfires have become more and more damaging year by year. The most important reason causing the climate change is the non-sustainable human activities, for example the usage of fossil fuel, which affect the environment in an irrecoverable way. A green solution is to use the energy from the sun, which is everywhere and unlimited using Solar cells to convert sun light into electricity.
However the electricity produced from currently available solar cells is expensive because the solar cells are not efficient enough. The material in solar cells can only absorb part of the solar light and waste most of the energy. Dr Jia has developed a nanotechnology called quantum dots. These small dots are 20,000 times smaller than a human hair and can better absorb the wasted solar energy by including them in the absorbing region of the solar cells. With the help of such intriguing small dots, the solar cells will be much more efficient. Therefore people will only need to pay half of the bills for electricity produced by solar panels in the future.
Baohua has edited a book called “Amazing Experiment” for school kids showing them scientific experiments are not limited to the lab but exist anywhere in our life. When Baohua realised people had difficulty understanding her research she developed lively videos and cartoons to engage them better. Through these activities, Baohua hopes to influence more people to love and work in science.