Meeting Information

The Physics and Photonics of Next Generation Solar Cells

March 28, 2018
American Center for Physics
College Park, MD

Date: Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Speaker: Prof. Jeremy N. Munday, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Topic: The Physics and Photonics of Next Generation Solar Cells

Time and Location: 1:00 PM, with Q&A to follow; in a 1st floor conference room at the American Center for Physics (, 1 Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD - off River Rd., between Kenilworth Ave. and Paint Branch Parkway.

Abstract: Converting sunlight into electricity is an important process that spans many fields from physics and chemistry to electrical engineering and materials science. For a traditional solar cell, the maximum power conversion efficiency is ~33%; however, the thermodynamic limit for converting sunlight to power is ~95%. So what happens to this extra 62% and can it be recovered? Surprisingly, optics may hold the key to recovering much of this loss. Here, I will present our recent work on a variety of architectures used to confine and control light on the nanoscale for applications in solar energy. Structures can be designed to act as broadband antireflection coatings, localized couplers to waveguide modes, and optical concentrators. To surpass the efficiency limit of traditional photovoltaic devices, I will discuss novel new methods using nanoscale optical concentration, photonic crystals to effectively modify the semiconductor bandgap, and the generation and collection of hot electrons in plasmonic structures.

Biography: Dr. Jeremy N. Munday is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. He received his PhD in Physics from Harvard University and was a postdoctoral scholar at Caltech prior to his appointment at Maryland. His research themes range from quantum electromechanical phenomena (such as the Casimir effect) to fundamental solar energy conversion processes with an emphasis on the optics, photonics, and thermodynamics of such systems. He is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award, ONR YIP Award, the OSA Adolph Lomb Medal, the IEEE Photonics Society Young Investigator Award, the SPIE Early Career Achievement Award, and the NASA Early Career Faculty Space Technology Research Award.