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PhD defence Maarten van Eerden (Solid State Chemistry) (Uitreiking)

Monday 16 May 2022Add to my calendar
from 16:30
Academiezaal Aula, Comeniuslaan 2
Maarten van Eerden, MSc.

Promotor: prof. Elias Vlieg

Solar energy will play a major role in tomorrow’s energy system and provides power to space technologies such as satellites, telescopes and Mars rovers. Solar cells based on gallium arsenide (GaAs) exhibit the highest power conversion efficiencies and are most suitable for applications in outer space. However, their high fabrication costs prevent widespread adoption for large-scale power generation. This thesis describes the development of ultra-thin GaAs solar cells, which are potentially cheaper to produce and less susceptible to degradation in outer space, but typically absorb sunlight less strongly. To address this issue, a novel and simple approach to produce a roughened rear mirror that traps sunlight in the solar cells was developed. This mirror was applied in ultra-thin-film GaAs solar cells, demonstrating a record efficiency of 21.4%. The dynamics of light in these record solar cells was studied using optical modeling, providing new insights and clear guidelines for further optimization.


Maarten van Eerden (1992) graduated cum laude for his Master’s in Physical Chemistry at the Radboud University in 2016. During internships he investigated organic and perovskite solar cells, at the Radboud University and at IMEC in Leuven, respectively. His PhD revolved around III-V semiconductor-based solar cells, investigating light trapping in ultra-thin GaAs solar cells.