ERC Consolidator Grant awarded to Dr. Oliver Höhn at the University of Freiburg

European Research Council funds research project on high-efficiency solar cells

The physicist Dr. Oliver Höhn from the University of Freiburg has received a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). The European Union is funding his research project on highly efficient tandem solar cells. The award is among the most prestigious prizes for scientists in the EU. The funding runs for five years and amounts to two million euros, with receiving an additional 700,000 euros for a large device. The ERC is funding 308 of the 2,000 applications submitted across Europe this year.

Photonic metasurfaces
The energy revolution requires the massive use of photovoltaic cells, which in turn require large quantities of resources. It is already becoming apparent that these are only available in limited quantities. Oliver Höhn’s project “Photonic metasurfaces for resource-efficient ultrathin high efficiency tandem solar cells” (PHASE) aims to create a deep physical understanding of metasurfaces for ultrathin tandem solar cells, in which the resource-intensive semiconductor part is ten times thinner than before. As a result, ten times less semiconductor material is required than for similar existing cells. Higher efficiencies can only be achieved with tandem solar cells, which consist of two or more sub-cells. However, existing tandem technologies are based on relatively thick absorber layers. In order to reduce their resource requirements, Höhn and his team are developing advanced light trapping techniques such as nanophotonic metasurfaces. “With this project, we will prove that this approach can effectively support the urgently needed energy revolution,” says Höhn.

Oliver Höhn is a physicist whose project is based at the Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering (INATECH) at the University of Freiburg. Höhn also works at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE in Freiburg, where he has headed the "III-V Semiconductor Technology" group since 2022. His research focusses on III-V multi-junction solar cells, the optical modelling and realisation of micro- and nanostructured surfaces and the optical modelling of high-efficiency solar cells.

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Dr. Oliver Höhn
Head of Group "III-V Semiconductor Technology"
Division Photovoltaics
Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE

Prof. Dr. Stefan Glunz
Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering
Photovoltaic Energy Conversion
Division Manager Photovoltaics
Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Freiburg

Kerstin Steiger-Merx
Representative Marketing & PR
Faculty of Engineering
University of Freiburg
Tel.: 0761/203-8056