Mini Solar

Current project

Mini Solar project is now full. Please apply for the Wait List

VIP Snapshot

Bigger isn’t always better, so we’re pushing the boundaries of solar energy to power small devices, like medical implants and IoT sensors, with a sustainable source of energy. 


ChallENG research goals

This project aims to design and create millimetre-sized solar energy harvesting devices that can provide continuous power for medical implants and IoT sensors. Specifically, we plan to:  

  • Design and prototype silicon photovoltaic devices capable of charging a small lithium ion battery 
  • Design and prototype mini lithium ion battery cells that can be fabricated on a silicon wafer 
  • Demonstrate mini-solar harvesting power systems integrated with low-power electrical circuits (e.g., for implants or IoT sensors)  
  • Develop computational models of hybrid devices  
  • Identify new device concepts/designs/applications 

Research, design or technical ChallENG

  • Design/fabrication of silicon photovoltaic devices that can charge a mini battery 
  • Design/fabrication of mini lithium ion battery cells  
  • Demonstration of prototype implants or sensors 
  • Design of solar energy harvesting devices for particular operating environments  
  • Assessment of the durability of solar energy harvesting devices in diverse environments 
  • Identification of new concepts/applications for solar energy harvesting 

Required Background

All engineering degrees are welcome, however students specialising in the below areas are encouraged to apply.

Research Areas* Majors*
  • Silicon photovoltaics 
  • Thin film miniature batteries 
  • Low-power circuits and wireless transmitters 
  • Biomedical implant design 
  • Device modelling 
  • Low power IoT systems 


  • Semiconductor photovoltaic device design/fabrication
  • Battery cell design and fabrication  
  • Sensor interfaces  
  • Electrical circuit design  
  • Low power circuits  
  • Device encapsulation