Position #186 – Thermophotovoltaic device for direct conversion of radiant heat into electricity

Host institution
ES - Universidad Politecnica de Madrid
Lab or research department name
Instituto de Energía Solar (IES)
Materials Science
Sub-domain or keywords
Photovoltaics, solar cells.
Type of mobility
Duration (months)
6-10 months

Thermophotovoltaic (TPV) converters are solid-state semiconductor-based devices that directly convert the radiant heat into electricity. These converters have been proposed for a number of applications, such as: power generation in space missions, solar power, energy storage, portable generators, heat recovery in high temperature industrial processes, etc. Conventional TPV converters consist of single p/n junctions made of low band-gap semiconductors such as GaSb, InGaAs(Sb) or Ge. A novel kind of TPV converters are being investigated at IES-UPM: the multijunction TPV cells, in which a set of p-n junctions (sub-cells) made of different semiconductor materials are stacked one on top of each other. In this arrangement, each sub-cell converts a different part of the incident spectrum with increased efficiency. Multijunction cells have already proven high performance in solar applications but very little work has focused to their use in TPV applications. Thus, many questions remind unanswered. The candidate will develop analytical models of these devices in order to determine, for instance, the optimum set of semiconductors that need to be used. The model will have to consider the particular recombination mechanisms of each semiconductor material as well as the practical concerns for their implementation using conventional semiconductor growth techniques (e.g. MBE, MOVPE).

From January 2016
Maximum available positions
High level of written and spoken English (knowledge of Spanish will be a plus). Background in semiconductor physics and practical hands on experience in programming. Knowledge of MATLAB and PC1D software platforms will be a plus.
Alejandro Datas <a.datas@ies-def.upm.es>