• Professor Xiaojing Hao has been selected as one of the recipients of 2020 Prime Minister’s Prize For Science in Australia
  • She is conferred with Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Science for the year 2020
  • The award is a recognition of her research work in the field of non-toxic thin-film solar cells with the help of a material called sulphide kesterite

The Scientia Associate Professor at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Xiaojing Hao has been selected as the recipient of the Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year, one of the 3 awards under 2020 Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science awarded annually to individuals for their outstanding achievements in scientific research, research based innovation and excellence in science teaching.

Hao is a well-recognized name in the research circles of Australia for her pioneering work in thin-film photovoltaics. At UNSW she is credited with having initiated a new line of research using thin-film material found in abundance called sulphide kesterite or Copper Tin Zinc Sulphide to make solar cells. This material is non-toxic and is useful for applications as coatings for buildings or vehicles.

She has set 5 world records for kesterite solar cell efficiency, stated UNSW in an official release. In July 2018, Hao led a team of UNSW researchers to have broken the 10% efficiency barrier for sulphide kesterite while aiming for these cells to have an efficiency of over 20% someday (see UNSW Team Breaks 10% Efficiency Record For CZTS).

“One of my main desires is to create ‘green’ solar cells out of materials that are not scarce or toxic. This will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and result in a better, cleaner life for us and our planet,” said Hao. “This recognition is not only for my work, but for my group’s work at UNSW. It is great to be able to put a spotlight on our research and promote our achievements.”

In May 2020, another Associate Professor at UNSW, Brett Hallam was selected for the ‘highest award globally’ in the field of PV technology for young researchers, the Stuart R Wenham Young Professional Award 2020 by the global technical professional organization IEEE for his research work on hydrogen passivation in silicon solar cells (see Australian Solar Researcher Wins Award).