Esther Alarcón Lladó appointed professor at the University of Amsterdam
Dr. Esther Alarcón Lladó has been appointed professor by special appointment in Nano-electrochemistry and Renewable Energy Materials at the Faculty of Science of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). The chair was established on behalf of the Foundation for the Advancement of Atomic and Molecular Physics (‘Stichting tot bevordering van de Atoom- en Molecuulfysica’) with the Van’t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS) of the UvA.
In her research Esther Alarcón Lladó focuses on nanoscale phenomena at solid-liquid interfaces, particularly under the effect of electricity. She also studies new materials and new principles for energy conversion aimed at generating renewable energy. Alarcón Lladó will perform fundamental research in the fields of materials science, electrochemistry and energy conversion, keeping application in mind. This includes improving the generation of sustainable electricity using solar radiation. The research will provide the foundation for the development of new materials with higher efficiency and/or broader application possibilities than current generations of solar cells.
Adding to this, Alarcón Lladó will focus on improving the storage of ‘green electricity’ by means of electrolysis. This process utilises electricity to synthesise energy-rich chemical compounds based on water and CO2, effectively storing electrical energy in chemicals such as hydrogen, methane or alcohol. These can then be utilised as fuel or as chemical feedstock. However, current electrolysers contain scarce and expensive elements such as platinum and iridium. Fundamental research is guiding the development of new, alternative electrolyser technology for large-scale use.
Besides continuing being the head of the 3D Photovoltaics group at AMOLF, Alarcón Lladó will teach within the master track Advanced Matter and Energy Physics, a joint degree with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
About Esther Alarcón Lladó
Alarcón Lladó received her PhD from the University of Barcelona in 2009, after which she joined the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) in Singapore. In 2010, she went to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (USA) for two years on a Marie Curie Fellowship. In 2012, she returned to Europe at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (Switzerland), where she was appointed Ambizione Energy Fellow in 2014. In 2016, she came to Amsterdam as group leader 3D Photovoltaics at AMOLF, an institute of the Dutch Research Council NWO focusing on fundamental research on new, strategically important complex molecule and material systems.