Associate Professor Fiona Beck

FERL Fellow, ARC DECRA Fellow
Project convenor, ANU Grand Challenge: Zero-Carbon Energy for the Asia-Pacific

Fiona J Beck joined the Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering at The Australian National University as a research fellow and lecturer under the Future Engineering Research Leadership Fellowship in 2015.  

She is also the Convenor of the Hydrogen Project, ANU Grand Challenge: Zero-Carbon Energy for the Asia-Pacific.

She has an MSci degree in physics from The University of Glasgow, and was awarded the Eve and Ravenscroft prize for the most distinguished graduate from the Faculty of Physical Sciences.  She obtained a PhD from The ANU in 2011, with a thesis on designing plasmonic light trapping schemes for applications in solar cells.  She then spent 4 years at ICFO - The Institute of Photonic Sciences in Barcelona, Spain, working with the Solution Processed Nanophotonics Group, employing plasmonics to enhance the performance of novel optoelectronic devices.  In 2012 she was awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship (similar to a DECRA) to undertake this project. 


Academic History

2015-Onwards:  FERL fellow, Research School of Engineering, ANU

2011-2014: Postdoctral Researcher, Solution Processed Nanophotonics Group, The Institute of Photonic Science, Spain

2007-2010: PhD in Nanophotonics for light trapping, College of Engineering and Computer Science, The Australian National University, Australia

2002-2006: First Class MSci in Physics, University of Glasgow, Scotland


Grants and Academic Awards

2014       Future Engineering Research Leader Fellowship, RSE, CSES, ANU 

2012       Marie Curie FP7-People-2011-IIF grant for the PECQDPV project.

2006       Ede & Ravenscroft Prize, awarded annually to the most distinguished graduate of the Physical Sciences Faculty at the University of Glasgow

Research interests

Nanostructured Optoelectronics, Nanophotonics and Plasmonics 

I am interested in harnessing light matter interactions at the nano-scale to advance renewable energy and energy saving technologies. My research spans two boundaries: between semiconductor physics and nano optics; and between fundamental and applied concepts.  I explore fundamental questions about the processes occurring in semiconducting materials in the vicinity of strong optical resonances and nanostructured interfaces.  By exploiting nanophotonic structures and novel device architectures I work to improve both the electrical and optical performance of optoelectronic devices with application to:

  • photovoltaics and solar energy 
  • photodetection
  • sensing
  • optical devices

Some of the specific research questions I am working on include:

  • Processes that occur in semiconductors in the vicinity of optical resonances
  • Modification of the charge generation profile to improve power conversion efficiency
  • Charge transport across nanostructured interfaces and in ultra-thin nanostructured solar cells
  • The role of nanophotonic structures in charge separation
  • Energy transport between low dimensional semiconductors (quantum dots and wells) and plasmonic structures 
  • Advanced electrical and optical characterisation of semiconductors and optoelectronic devices
  • Modelling of the electrical and optical characteristics of semiconductors and optoelectronic devices