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The Australian National University

Dr Fiona J Beck

PhD in Engineering, MSci in Physics
FERL Research Fellow and Lecturer
ANU College of Engineering and Computer Science

Areas of expertise

  • Photodetectors, Optical Sensors And Solar Cells 090605
  • Nanophotonics 100711

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


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

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 The 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. 


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Updated:  19 November 2017 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers