Department Nanoscale Structures and Microscopic Analysis

In collaboration with the Group Photonic Nanostructures at the MPI for the Science of Light, Erlangen, Germany

Research topics (Renewable energy)

The department Nanoscale Structures and Microscopic Analysis participates at the Helmholtz Research Program Renewable Energies within the topics Solar cells of the next generation and Solar Fuels. Particularly, the research work concentrates on increasing the power-conversion efficiency of solar cell designs, enabling short- and long-term energy storage with minimal losses and maximum flexibility, and increasing the energy efficiency of light sources.

Therefore, our research comprises the following topics in the field of (nano)optics.

Graphene as transparent electrode

Overview Graphene as transparent electrode

Growth by chemical vapor deposition on metal foils, or as electrical contact on self-organized grown GaN nanowires

Silicon nanowire solar cells

Overview Silicon nanowire solar cells

Si nanowires fabricated using various techniques including wet chemical and reactive ion etching of mono and multicrystalline Si surfaces

Plasmonics

Overview Plasmonics

Silver nanostructures and chiral metamaterials for optoelectronicapplication

Research topics (Energy materials)

The institute Nanoarchitectures for Energy Conversion participates at Helmholtz Research Program Energy efficiency, materials, and ressources in the subtopic Methods and Concepts for Material Development. The focus is put on investigations of structure-function relationships in material systems for energy conversion by means of electron microscopy as well as by further analytical techniques and simulation methods. The electron microscopy work has been dedicated to correlative analysis of microstructural, compositional, and optoelectronic properties at the nanoscale in materials for solar-energy conversion, relating these properties to corresponding device performances. Experimental facilities are established to carry out analytical and high-resolution transmission electron microscopy (TEM) as well as analytical scanning electron microscopy (SEM) including nanomanipulation.

Structure-property relationships in thin-film solar cells

Overview Structure-property relationships in thin-film solar cells

Correlation of the properties of dislocations, stacking faults, microtwins, grain boundaries and strain within individual grains with the photovoltaic performance of thin-film solar cells.