Dr Albert POLMAN

Dr Albert POLMAN

Scientific Group Leader
FOM Institute AMOLF, Netherlands

High-efficiency solar cells by nanophotonic design

We review the electrical characteristics of the record cells of the 16 widely studied photovoltaic materials geometries (efficiencies 10-29%) and compare these to the fundamental limits based on the Shockley-Queisser detailed-balance model. All geometries suffer from incomplete light management. We show how nanostructured dielectric and metallic metasurface and metamaterial architectures can help to control the coupling, trapping and conversion of light in solar cells. Prospects for practical application and large-area fabrication, for which achieving high efficiency is a key factor, are discussed for all materials. Ref.: A. Polman et al., Science 352, 207 (2016)


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” and is professor of Photonic materials for photovoltaics at the University of Amsterdam. Polman’s group has developed many novel generic concepts of light coupling, light trapping and current collection using nanostructured metasurfaces that can be applied to a broad range of solar cells. Polman has published >250 papers (>20.000 citations) and is co-recipient of the 2012 ENI Renewable Energy Prize.