Balakrishna Ananthoju, a senior research scholar at the IITB-Monash Research Academy, defended his thesis successfully on 18th June 2016. His project is titled 'Cu2ZnSnS4 Nanoparticulate Thin Films and Their Solar Cell Characteristics', and his supervisors are Prof. M. Aslam, Prof. D. Bahadur (IIT Bombay) and Prof. Nikhil Medhekar (Monash University).
Solar cells work based on the famous idea proposed by Albert Einstein: when light falls on some materials, it can produce a flow of electrons, i.e. electricity. The production of electricity depends on the property of the material used in solar cells. Currently, the cells are made of silicon, and researchers are constantly looking out for better materials that would make them more efficient.
It was recently discovered that the usage of "thin film" technology in solar cells is highly promising and effective. However, all the thin film materials used currently for this purpose are toxic and made of rare elements like Cadmium and Indium, which are not easily available in nature. One of the potential alternatives is CZTS thin films (copper zinc tin sulphide), which is based on non-toxic and abundant elements, and this was the area Balakrishna focused on.
During the course of his research, Balakrishna prepared CZTS thin films and studied their characteristics in detail. He measured the efficiency of the newly-made thin films and also worked on making them more efficient using various nanotechnology techniques.
His supervisors, Prof. Aslam and Prof Bahadur are full of praise for Balakrishna's, "sincerity and hard work".
Prof. Nikhil Medhekar said "Bala has made fantastic contributions in developing solar cells based on CZTS thin films, which I have no doubt, position him well to begin a successful career".
Balakrishna now plans to pursue his Post-Doctoral research.
Congratulations, Balakrishna, wishing you success in your future endeavours!