prof.dr. Esther Alarcón Lladó

Back to all people

Image of Esther Alarcón Lladó

Group leader: 3D Photovoltaics

CV / Biography

Prof. dr. Esther Alarcón Lladó is the group leader of the 3DPV group at NWO-I AMOLF since 2016 and professor of nanoelectrochemistry at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) since 2023. Alarcón Lladó has a strong track record in the development of new materials and energy conversion principles for sustainable energy generation with a unique complimentary approach based on photonics, spectroscopy and (photo)electrochemistry. She is renowned for her work on photonic waveguiding in solar cells. Apart from the many contributions on the field of nanowire PV, she has introduced hyperuniform disorder nanopatterning as an efficient light management platform for thin film PV and demonstrated the strongest light absorption in thin c-Si. Additionally, her group is known for the high degree of spatio-temporal control over ions/ion complexes in solution and their chemistry. Within this framework, she has developed highly promising synthesis pathways for photovoltaic materials (IIII-V, perovskites and metals) in line with circular chemistry, as it minimizes raw material and energy consumption. Her group has developed distinctive in-situ/operando scanning probe microscopes for the investigation of dynamic nanoscale phenomena at electrified solid-solid and solid-liquid interfaces.


Before moving to AMOLF, she worked as an Ambizione Energy group leader in the group of Prof. Anna Fontcuberta i Morral at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland). She was also awarded a Fulbright and a Marie Curie fellowship for her postdoctoral studies at Lawrence Berkely Laboratory (USA) and at EPFL. She was later awarded the Ambizione Energy grant (the Swiss equivalent to a Veni/Vidi grant, 800 k€). Her group is part of several national and European projects/consortia, and she is the leader in the national consortium on light-driven chemistry, including the industrial partnership with 4 major corporations. Alarcón Lladó is member of the advisory committee of the Dutch Physics Council, the scientific advisory committee of the National Growth Fund program on photonics, and editorial board member of the scientific journals ACS Applied Optical Materials, Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, and Frontiers in Photonics. She is also actively engaged in diversity and inclusion discussions, with several contributions on female leadership programs and inclusivity in science events.

Prizes and Awards
2014    Ambizione Energy grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation
2010    Marie Curie IOF postdoctoral fellowship
2010    Awarded with a Beatriu de Pinos-Generalitat two-year post-doc scholarship at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (USA)
2009    Awarded with a Fulbright scholarship to perform a one-year post-doc at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (USA)
2009    PhD Cum Laude