Albert Polman

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Member of: Photonic Materials

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Albert Polman is scientific group leader at the FOM Institute AMOLF in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where he heads the Program “Light management in new photovoltaic materials”. He is professor of Photonic materials for photovoltaics at the University of Amsterdam. Polman obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Utrecht in 1989, was post-doctoral researcher at AT&T Bell Laboratories until 1991 and then became group leader at AMOLF, where he also served as director from 2006-2013. In 2003 he spent a sabbatical year at Caltech.

Polman is one of the pioneers of the research field of nanophotonics: the control, understanding, and application of light at the nanoscale. Polman’s research group specializes in fundamental studies at the interface between optical physics and materials science, and has regularly demonstrated transfer of knowledge to applied concepts.

Polman’s group is the inventor of Angle-Resolved Cathodoluminescence Imaging Spectroscopy (ARCIS), a novel imaging technique with deep-subwavelength resolution. The ARCIS technique has been commercialized the start-up Delmic BV, of which Polman is co-founder. In 2014 Polman was awarded the MRS Materials Innovation and Characteriation Award for the development of the ARCIS technique.

Polman’s most recent research focuses on nanophotovoltaics, the study of light management at the nanoscale to realize solar cells with ultra-high efficiency that can be made at low costs. In 2012 he was awarded, together with Harry Atwater, the ENI Renewable Energy Award for his research on light management in photovoltaic materials.

Polman is member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), Fellow of the Materials Research Society (MRS), and recipient of two ERC Advanced Investigator Grants (2011, 2016), the Physica Prize of the Dutch Physical Society (2014) and the Julius Springer Award for Applied Physics (2014). Polman’s group has published over 280 articles in international journals that are cited over 20.000 times (h-index: 75) and has filed 12 patent applications.

Albert Polman is married to the musicologist Dr. Philomeen Lelieveldt; they have two children, Philine and Fabian. In his free time he is member of the chamber choir Vocaal Ensemble COQU.

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For details, see:


  • Verena Neder, Stefan L. Luxembourg and Albert Polman, Efficient colored silicon solar modules using integrated resonant dielectric nanoscatterers, Appl. Phys. Lett. 111, 073902: 1-5 (2017)

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  • Sophie Meuret, Toon Coenen, Hans Zeijlemaker, Michael Latzel, Silke Christiansen, Sonia Conesa-Boj and Albert Polman, Photon bunching reveals single-electron cathodoluminescence excitation efficiency in InGaN quantum wells, Phys. Rev. B 96, 3: 035308: 1-8 (2017)

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  • Marc A. Verschuuren, Mischa Megens, Yongfeng Ni, Hans van Sprang and Albert Polman, Large area nanoimprint by substrate conformal imprint lithography (SCIL), Adv. Opt. Technol. 6, 3-4: (2017)

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  • B. Sciacca, A. Berkhout, B.J.M. Brenny, S.Z. Oener, M.A. van Huis, A. Polman and E.C. Garnett, Monocrystalline Nanopatterns Made by Nanocube Assembly and Epitaxy, Adv. Mater. 29, 1701064: 1-6 (2017)

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  • Guanchao Yin, Mark W. Knight, Marie-Claire van Lare, Maria Magdalena Sola Garcia, Albert Polman and Martina Schmid, Optoelectronic Enhancement of Ultrathin CuIn1–xGaxSe2 Solar Cells by Nanophotonic Contacts, Adv. Opt. Mater. 5, 5: 1600637: 1-11 (2017)

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  • Pierpaolo Spinelli, Bonna K. Newman and Albert Polman: Photovoltaics : Light-Trapping in Crystalline Silicon and Thin-Film Solar Cells by Nanostructured Optical Coatings In: Nanotechnology for Energy Sustainability /ed. B. Raj, M. Van de Voorde and Y. Mahajan. - Weinheim: Wiley, 2017. - pp. vol. 1 : 163-180 (Nanotechnology Innovation & Applications;)

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  • Nasim Mohammadi Estakhri, Verena Neder, Mark W. Knight, Albert Polman and Andrea Alu, Visible Light, Wide-Angle Graded Metasurface for Back Reflection, ACS Photonics 4, 2: 228-235 (2017)

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  • Mark W. Knight, Jorik van de Groep, Paula C.P. Bronsveld, Wim C. Sinke and Albert Polman, Soft imprinted Ag nanowire hybrid electrodes on silicon heterojunction solar cells, Nano Energy 30, 398–406 (2016)

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  • Benjamin J.M. Brenny, Daryl M. Beggs, Ruben E.C. van der Wel, L. Kuipers and Albert Polman, Near-Infrared Spectroscopic Cathodoluminescence Imaging Polarimetry on Silicon Photonic Crystal Waveguides, ACS Photonics 3, 11: 2112–2121 (2016)

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  • Benjamin J.M. Brenny, Albert Polman and F.Javier Garcia de Abajo, Femtosecond plasmon and photon wave packets excited by a high-energy electron on a metal or dielectric surface, Phys. Rev. B 94, 15: 155412: 1-11 (2016)

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