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Photovoltaics and Energy Technologies

Novel materials, devices, and methods are required for efficient solar cells, photovoltaic energy systems as well as energy harvesting and cooling systems with high power density.

At IMT we develop concepts for solar, mechanical and thermal energy harvesting. Our solar energy research ranges from new materials and characterization techniques to next generation devices and photovoltaic systems for the developing world. Our research on energy technologies includes the characterization of coupling effects in multiferroic materials as well as the design, performance simulation and fabrication of energy harvesting and solid-state microcooling devices.

Research Themes

Micro Energy Harvesting

The energy contained within small temperature differences or low frequency vibrations can be harvested via abrupt changes of physical properties in novel magnetic shape memory alloys.

Elastocaloric Microcooling

Superelastic shape memory alloys exhibit large changes of latent heat and miniaturization enables rapid heat transfer, as well as higher cycling frequencies and cooling power.

 
Nanophotonic Light Management

Nanostructured matter exhibits exiting ways to tailor the light propagation within a solar cells or LEDs.

Materials for Spectral Conversion

Spectral conversion materials are able to tune the wavelengths at which light is absorbed and emitted, enhancing the efficiency of solar energy conversion.

 
Advanced Optical Spectroscopy

At IMT, we pursue the fundamental physical understanding of light absorption and electronic transport in advanced energy conversion materials.

Perovskite Photovoltaics

We investigate the design, develop and prototype nanophotonic materials for perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells.

 
Novel Concepts for PV Modules

We investigate and implement novel PV concepts at the module level, including spectral conversion, coloured PV for architectural applications, anti-reflection and self-cleaning coatings.

Solar-Driven Water Treatment Processes

We develop PV-powered brackish water treatment systems to remove salt and dissolved contaminants in groundwater, as well as photocatalytic systems for membranes.