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14 december 2018

Approved FOM programme

Number 131.
Title Light management in new photovoltaic materials (LMPV)
Executive organisational unit AMOLF & BUW
Programme management Prof.dr. A. Polman 
Duration 2011-2019
Cost estimate M€ 5.4

The Focus Group Light management in new photovoltaic materials will carry out a comprehensive research program on nanoscale photovoltaic materials exploiting novel ways to control light-matter interaction. The Focus Group will develop new ways to enhance the interaction of light with electronic states in photovoltaic nanomaterials/structures based ultra-thin (compound) semiconductors, hybrid organic/ inorganic dye-sensitized solar cells and quantum dot nano­structures made using self-assembly. The new designs will reduce the amount and cost of photovoltaic materials and lead to more efficient light-to-current conversion..

Background, relevance and implementation
Photovoltaics, the conversion of (sun)light to electricity, is a promising technology that enables the generation of electrical power at a very large scale. The worldwide photovoltaic produc­tion was >10 GW in 2009, and is expected to rise above 20 GW in 2015. Thus photovoltaics has the potential to make a significant contribution to solving the energy problem that our society faces in the next generation. However, to make photovoltaics competitive with fossil fuel technologies, the costs need to be reduced by a factor of 2-5, depending on the geographical location. To achieve this goal, radically new solar cell designs are required with lower costs, while maintaining high efficiency. This is the primary objective of this proposal.

The Focus Group is composed of three research groups and will present a highly visible energy research activity within the Netherlands and worldwide. The total costs for the Focus Group for a nine-year period (2011-2019) amount to M€ 7.7. An amount of M€ 5.4 is funded by this programme; AMOLF will contribute M€ 2.3. The budget enables the hiring of three tenure-track group leaders, PhD students and postdocs to a maximum of 14 fte. The new group leaders will acquire additional funding through (inter)national funding competitions so that the effective Focus Group size will double to some 25-30 fte.

To ensure the transfer of the knowledge to be obtained within this programme to industrial users, this program will be carried out in close collaboration with Utrecht University and the Energy Research Center of the Netherlands (ECN).

The programme was launched following a national call for proposals for FOM Focus Groups for fundamental energy research and forms part of and is scientifically connected to the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER).

During the second half of 2015 the scientific programme of this focus group will be subject to a mid-term evaluation. The final evaluation will consist of a self-evaluation initiated by the programme leader and is foreseen for 2019.

Please find a research highlight that was achieved in 2014 within this FOM programme here.