Strong-light matter coupling has emerged as a major cross-disciplinary field of study over recent years. This regime was originally constrained to the realm of low-temperature studies, however, extensions to room temperature through advances in the fabrication of nanophotonic structures have opened the door for numerous new research lines.
Two dimensional (2D) materials such as graphene, black phosphorous, and transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) exhibit fascinating physical properties due to their specific band structure and reduced dimensionality. In recent years, TMDs (MX2, where M = Mo, W and X = S, Se) particularly are of much interest from a fundamental point of view but they also provide an excellent platform for ultrathin optoelectronic and photonic devices.
The discovery of new energy materials is becoming a large-scale challenge that is far beyond the reach of experimentation but also stretching the limits of conventional computation. At DIFFER; we are working on to improve the speed and the prediction power of computation for the discovery of new solar energy conversion and energy storage materials.
Encapsulation foils are highly demanded in the production of flexible devices such as thin film transistors (TFT), organic LEDs, solar cells and so on. To bring this technology to commercial manufacturing phase, the thin film performance should be further improved and the throughput should be increased. Atmospheric-pressure PECVD is regarded as a promising tool to achieve these industrial targets because of its capability of the roll-to-roll processing and precise control over the thin film properties.
The future demands for renewable energy, electric vehicles, portable electronics and other high-power/high energy density applications require energy storage devices. Electrochemical storage has a high potential to meet the criteria, but it requires improvements in the field of high-performance electrode materials. Among the potential electrochemical materials, carbon has several advantages such as relative low cost, good electrical conductivity, benign environmental impact, high availability, and easy to process.
Our future energy infrastructure will need ways of efficiently converting, transporting and storing electricity from sustainable but fluctuating sources. One approach uses sustainable electricity for the reverse combustion of atmospheric CO2 into so-called solar fuels, thereby converting electricity into the chemical bonds of high-density fuels. DIFFER pursues plasma-assisted conversion of CO2 into CO and O2 as an exciting new approach to recycling carbon dioxide into fuels, thereby closing the carbon cycle and eliminating the need for fossil fuels.
Photo-electrochemical (PEC) solar fuel conversion is one of the most promising techniques to convert solar energy directly into its most versatile form of energy, a fuel. However, the efficiency is still low and degradation too high. We have several open BSc/MSc/internship projects for both experiments and modeling & simulation.