In this project, we aim to obtain a breakthrough in the 3D modelling of the absorption of light in novel photovoltaic cells. Absorption in complex nanophotonic media is generally interpreted by considering light to diffuse without interference. Here we take a radically different approach by considering absorption as a sequence of scattering events and wave interference. Our approach shows that energy in (disordered) media is transported via eigenchannels. Computing these eigenchannels opens up new roads to understand absorption and to manipulate it using wave front shaping, which are essential for thinner photovoltaic cells with a larger electricity production. The computations of the eigenchannels are based on a singular value decomposition of the transfer and scattering matrices, which are computed using a discontinuous Galerkin finite element method for the time harmonic Maxwell equations.
This project requires significant advances in both finite element methods to solve the Maxwell equations and the study of absorption of light in nanophotonic media. The main research topics are:
- the development, analysis and implementation of efficient multigrid techniques to solve the time-harmonic Maxwell equations discretized using a higher order accurate discontinuous Galerkin method;
- to compute eigenchannels using a singular value decomposition (SVD) and to use these results to study the absorption of light in thin photovoltaic cells.
A four year fully funded PhD position is available in a multidisciplinary project of the Mathematics of Computational Science (MACS) and the Complex Photonic Systems (COPS) chairs in the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. The research programme is funded by and part of the Shell-NWO Computational Science for Energy Research Programme. The position offers an exciting research opportunity to complete a PhD in a dynamic, stimulating, multidisciplinary and multinational work environment.
Mathematics of Computational Science (MACS) and the Complex Photonic Systems (COPS) in the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.
The successful candidate has a MSc degree in Applied Mathematics, Applied Physics, Nanotechnology or similar sciences, with outstanding study results. You have a strong background in computational mathematics or computational physics, in particular finite element methods for partial differential equations. You are fluent in interdisciplinary English communication, quality-oriented and creative, eager to immerse yourself in new scientific disciplines, and ready to take new initiatives.
Conditions of employment
When fulfilling a PhD position at NWO-I the Institutes Organisation of NWO, you will get the status of junior scientist. You will have an employee status and can participate in all the employee benefits NWO-I offers. You will get a contract for four years. Your salary will be up to a maximum of 2,937 euro gross per month. The salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8 percent and an end-of-year bonus of 8.33 percent. You are supposed to have a thesis finished at the end of your four year term with NWO-I. A training programme is part of the agreement. You and your supervisor will make up a plan for the additional education and supervising that you specifically need. This plan also defines which teaching activities you will be responsible (up to a maximum of ten percent of your time). The conditions of employment of NWO-I are laid down in the Collective Labour Agreement for Research Centres (Cao-Onderzoekinstellingen), more exclusive information is available at this website under Personeelsinformatie (in Dutch) or under Personnel (in English). General information about working at NWO-I can be found in the English part of this website under Personnel. The 'Recruitment code' applies to this position.
Prof.dr.ir. Jaap van der Vegt (project leader), Mathematics of Computational Science (MACS), MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, the Netherlands.
Prof.dr. Willem Vos, Complex Photonics Systems (COPS), MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, University of Twente, P.O. Box 217, 7500 AE Enschede, the Netherlands.
You can respond to this vacancy online via the form below.
Please send your cv and recommendation letters.
31 August 2018.