News #37

Oliver Höhn Receives 2.7 Million Euro Grant from the European Research Council

Dr. Oliver Höhn, researcher at the University of Freiburg and the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, received a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC). With the sum of two million euros and funding for a plasma etching system for semiconductor materials in groups III and V of the periodic table, the ERC grant will support Höhn in his research on highly efficient solar cells over the next five years as of 2024. Across Europe, 2130 scientists applied for this year’s ERC call for proposals.

© University of Freiburg
The European Research Council is supporting Dr. Oliver Höhn for the next five years in his research on highly efficient solar cells.

Dr. Oliver Höhn has been working at Fraunhofer ISE since 2008 and received his doctorate in physics from the University of Freiburg in 2015. Since 2022, he has headed the research group "III-V Semiconductor Technology" at Fraunhofer ISE. He received a prestigious ERC Consolidator Grant for the research project "PHASE - Photonic metasurfaces for resource-efficient ultrathin high efficiency tandem solar cells". In this project, he is working on realizing highly efficient tandem solar cells that use 10 times less semiconductor material than similar, existing solar cells.

"Tandem solar cells are the technology of the future. However, tandem solar cells currently have relatively thick absorber layers. Currently tandem technologies reduce the material demand compared to single-junction solar cells, primarily due to their comparatively higher efficiencies," says Oliver Höhn, explaining his research approach. "I am trying to reduce the resource requirements of this future technology by extending the concept of ultra-thin single-junction solar cells to tandem solar cell technologies."

"Since photovoltaic capacity will expand greatly to achieve a climate-neutral energy system, we must take care of the resources that we need for this technology," says Prof. Dr. Stefan Glunz, Head of the Photovoltaics Division at Fraunhofer ISE and Professor for Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, Department of Sustainable Systems Engineering INATECH at the University of Freiburg. "We are delighted that Oliver Höhn's important contribution is being supported by the European Research Council."

The European Research Council (ERC) is a public institution for the promotion of scientific and technological research in the European Union (EU). Since its foundation in 2007, the Council has awarded various grants to scientists, including the 'Consolidator Grant'. Researchers of all nationalities in the EU with seven to twelve years' experience since completing their doctorate, a promising scientific track record and an outstanding research proposal can apply.

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