The Light Management in New Photovoltaic Materials (LMPV) program is a research program within the Center for Nanophotonics at AMOLF, a national research laboratory funded by the Dutch Research Counsel (NWO), in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The goal of the LMPV program is to develop fundamental understanding of the interaction of light with photovoltaic nanomaterials, and apply this knowledge to realize photovoltaic conversion concepts that surpass existing technology. Our PV research has spin-offs in fundamental nanophotonics, device physics, and many aspects of physics beyond PV.
Highlights & characteristics (see LMPV Year Report 2019)
- Four LMPV group leaders: Erik Garnett, Bruno Ehrler, Esther Alarcon Llado, Albert Polman.
- Present LMPV staff: 30 (PhD, postdoc, group leaders, technicians) + 10 master’s students.
- Funding raised through external grants: M€ 19.8.
- Published papers: 145 articles, of which 54% in high-impact journals (IF>10).
- Research collaborations with PV laboratories all over the world: Cambridge, Fraunhofer ISE, EPFL, UNSW, Caltech, etc., and with all PV groups at Dutch universities & TNO/ECN.
- Trained 10 PhDs & 12 postdocs to become: assistant professor (6), postdoc/academic (7), industry (4), technology institutes (3), other (2).
Some of our research questions:
- Can we assemble single-crystalline perovskite nanocubes into monocrystalline sheets?
- How does ion migration affect the efficiency of perovskite solar cells?
- How to grow high-quality III-V semiconductor nanostructures using nanoelectrochemistry?
- What light scattering backreflector nanodesign raises the efficiency of III-V/Si tandem solar cells beyond the world record?
Answering these questions requires synthesis and development of entirely new materials and solar cell architectures. It requires fundamental research on hybridizing strategies combining concepts from dielectric and plasmonic metasurfaces and metamaterials, with the management of light on length scales from the molecular scale to that of a solar panel. Our work also involves harnessing extreme materials properties to reach the limits of what is possible under reciprocity and thermodynamics. The LMPV program’s primary goal is to achieve fundamental understanding of basic physical phenomena that are relevant for future application in photovoltaics. In many cases, demonstrator devices are made as well, either at AMOLF or with external collaborators.