Prof. Ian Sharp will research new materials for photovoltaics. Image: Astrid Eckert / TUM

The e-conversion member Professor Ian Sharp (Experimental Semiconductor Physics at TU Munich) has been awarded a Consolidator Grant by the European Research Council (ERC). With his ERC project, he aims to develop new materials for photovoltaics.

A major challenge with classic photovoltaics is that the energy cannot be easily stored at large scale. Prof. Ian Sharp seeks to develop systems that are able to efficiently store solar energy chemically. Materials for such transformations must be able to transfer the absorbed energy efficiently while remaining stable even under aggressive reaction conditions. Transition metal nitride semiconductors may be highly suitable for meeting this challenge, but have not been investigated in detail. With his project SECANS Ian Sharp now wants to close this gap. Combining advanced methods of semiconductor deposition and interface engineering he aims to create “artificial photosystems.” State-of-the-art spectroscopic techniques will be used to study photochemical stability, mechanisms of energy conversion, and the role of defects and perturbations. The goal is to produce novel nitride semiconductors with self-healing interfaces that can efficiently convert solar energy into chemical energy.

Source: TUM press office (complete article)