2A Efficient generation of sustainable energy

Solar energy can be used to generate heat, electricity and fuels. This programme focuses on generation of electricity and related enabling technologies. This is a key technology for the transition towards a sustainable energy system, in particular in highly urbanised countries like The Netherlands. Very large-scale utilisation of these technologies requires the availability of easy-to-use, high performance, and low-cost systems. In this context, opportunities for the application of nanotechnology are numerous and great.

This programme aims at applying nanostructures and nanotechnology for the following topics:

High-performance solar cells

(1)    Plasmonic surface structures to maximize the absorption of light, to enable the use of extremely thin (wafer- or film-based) solar cells, and thus to reduce materials consumption and enhance process throughput.

(2)    Quantum-dot-based coating materials to “shape” the solar spectrum for better matching with the sensitivity of solar cells, and thus to enhance efficiency.

(3)    Nanocrystalline silicon materials deposited at high rate, for use in multi-junction thin-film solar cells, which are sensitive to a broader part of the solar spectrum and therefore have a higher efficiency.

Advanced light management

(1)    Diffuse light concentrators, to enable the use of (small area) concentrator solar cells in systems which can be integrated into buildings (i.e. systems that do not require sun tracking).

Back to theme 2: Energy

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Programme Director:
Prof. dr. ir. W.M.M. Kessels (Eindhoven University of Technology)