ERC Consolidator grant for Erik Garnett

Published on March 17, 2022
Category Nanoscale Solar Cells
Photo by Dirk Gillissen

AMOLF group leader Erik Garnett (Nanoscale Solar Cells) has received an ERC Consolidator grant amounting 3.0 million euros from the European Research Council (ERC). In addition to being an AMOLF group leader, Garnett holds a professorship by special appointment at the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

The ERC Consolidator Grants are designed to support excellent Principal Investigators at the career stage at which they may still be consolidating their own independent research team or program. Principal Investigators must demonstrate the ground-breaking nature, ambition and feasibility of their scientific proposal.

FOCUS (Flourescent Optical Concentration of Uncollimated Sunlight)
There is an urgent need to use solar energy to produce electricity, fuels and chemicals. However, the highly diffuse nature of sunlight in angle, wavelength and space complicates its high-efficiency, low-cost and scalable conversion. FOCUS will develop thin-films that concentrate sunlight in these three aspects, creating collimated, monochromatic, high-intensity beams that can provide advantages for photovoltaics and photocatalysis. The underlying concept is a radically different design for a luminescent solar concentrator (LSC). Conventional LSCs use an emitter-doped plastic or glass sheet as a waveguide, concentrating direct and diffuse sunlight via total internal reflection of fluorescence. The losses associated with reabsorption, emission into the waveguide escape cone and Stokes shift have limited LSC efficiency to 7%. Garnett will eliminate the waveguide completely and replace it with nanophotonic lenses, solving the longstanding problems with LSCs.

Read more about ERC Consolidator Grants