This research project, which utilizes advances made by TUM-IAS hostProf. Paolo Lugli’s effort on modeling and fabrication of nanostructures and nanodevices builds on the expertise of TUM-IAS Hans Fischer Senior FellowProf. Stephen Goodnick in two distinct application areas: (1) hybrid solar cells, and (2) light and energy harvesting. The development of sustainable and efficient energy conversion processes and systems is of central importance for our future. The limited availability of fossil fuels as primary energy sources and the concomitant emission of pollutants leading to negative local and global effects on the environment, and poses an enormous challenge for our future energy supply. Among the various renewable energy sources, the largest resource by far is provided by the sun. More energy from sunlight strikes the earth in one hour than all of the energy currently consumed on the planet in one year. However, to make a sizable contribution to the primary energy supply, solar energy must be captured, converted, and stored to overcome the diurnal cycle and the intermittency of the solar resource on earth. The motivation for the project comes from the necessity to develop tools which can help improving the efficiency of existing solar energy conversion systems or designing novel ones. The project aims at setting up a simulation framework based on a series of physical models and Monte Carlo tools able to describe the fundamental processes determining the operation of PC devices and ultimately to provide accurate design tools for their optimization. While the use of such tools is widely established for the design of electronic devices, also at an industrial level, this is not the case for solar cells and other PC devices. The theoretical effort will be supported by experimental investigations carried out in the host institute and in cooperation with other groups at TUM and ASU.
TUM-IAS funded doctoral candidate: Pietro Luppina (PhD in 2017)