World-renowned physicist, Professor Paul Dastoor, says Australia is on the threshold of free household power, with his development of an energy system based on solar cells that can be printed – and ultimately painted – onto surfaces like roofs, walls, or even windows. He will share his ground breaking research at the inaugural Design, Interactive Technology and Greentech (DiG) Festival in Newcastle this October 2-5.

Professor Dastoor, who is based at the University of Newcastle, likens the basic construction of the solar sheeting – a metal coating on a plastic substrate with coloured ink printed on it – to that of a simple chip packet.

“And we make chip packets so cheaply that we throw them away when we are finished with them,” says Professor Dastoor.

“This gives you an indication of how inexpensively we could manufacture this product.”

“Our research indicates that a roll of this sheeting on a typical-sized roof of about 150 square metres will provide enough electricity for an average household,” he says.

Professor Dastoor is a key speaker at the DiG Festival, which is a showpiece for Australia’s transition to a technologically smart and clean economy. Dastoor’s technology may open up the prospect of a new renewable energy industry for Newcastle.
“What we will be able to offer is low-cost, environmentally sustainable technology, being developed right here at the University of Newcastle, that could help this region and Australia make the transition to a more diverse, progressive economy,” says Professor Dastoor.

Visit the DiG Festival website to purchase tickets (70% of for students) and see the full conference program.

About Paul

Paul Dastoor is a Professor in Physics in the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences and the director of the Centre for Organic Electronics at the University of Newcastle.

He has a BA in Natural Sciences and a PhD in Surface Physics. After completing his doctorate he joined the Surface Chemistry Department at British Steel in 1994 before taking up his present appointment at the University of Newcastle in 1995. He was an EPSRC Visiting Research Fellow at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, UK in 2002 and a CCLRC Visiting Research Fellow at the Daresbury Laboratory, Cheshire, UK in 2004-05. Paul is a member of the Australian Institute of Physics, a member and Chartered Physicist of the Institute of Physics – UK, and member of Standards Australia for both Surface Analysis and Spectroscopy.

Since arriving in Newcastle, Paul has established and developed a completely new research group within Physics at the University of Newcastle. This group is now the largest research group in the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences and one of the largest groups in the Faculty of Science and Information Technology. The projects currently undertaken within the research group encompass both fundamental and applied physics.

Paul’s expertise covers surface analysis, electron spectroscopy, thin film growth, organic electronics, organosilane chemistry, polymer films, atom beam optics and microscopy and medical devices.