Due to their fascinating optical and electronic properties, nanometer-scaled structures play an important role in solar energy conversion. In the research group “Nanotechnology for Solar Energy Conversion”, the team led by Dr Andreas Schüler develops and characterizes novel nanostructured materials for solar energy applications. The nanocomposite coatings consist typically of dielectric, semiconductor or metal nanocrystals embedded in a dielectric matrix. Applications include antireflection coatings on solar collector glazing, colored coatings with high solar transmittance for novel glazing of solar thermal facades, photoluminescent quantum dot solar concentrators for photovoltaic energy conversion, and optical selective absorber coatings for thermal solar collectors and thermoelectric power generation.
Thin film deposition processes are developed based on techniques such as sol-gel dip and spray coating, vacuum evaporation by resistive and electron beam heating, reactive magnetron sputtering and combined plasma enhanced chemical and physical vapor deposition.
Thin film characterization techniques include VIS-NIR and FTIR spectrophotometry, UV-VIS-NIR and FTIR spectroscopic ellipsometry, photoluminescence measurements, infrared emissiometry, temperature dependent electrical transport measurements, photoelectron spectroscopies UPS and XPS, depth profiling of thin films and multilayered coatings, X-ray diffraction, Rutherford backscattering, electron probe microanalysis, electron microscopies SEM, TEM, HTEM, electron diffraction, and energy dispersive X-ray analysis.
The research group carries out fundamental research on novel nanocomposite materials and thin films materials, and promotes the introduction of novel solar technologies by accompanying the upscaling of the corresponding innovative manufacturing processes.
- Colored thermal collectors and PV modules – development of glazing for solar facades and solar roofing
- Novel highly durable receiver tubes for electricity generation by concentrated solar power (CSP), selective solar absorber coating produced by low-cost sol-gel deposition process
- Nanostructured low refractive index materials on solar collector glazing
- Thermochromic coatings for prevention of overheating of buildings and solar energy systems
- Microstructured glazing for daylighting, seasonal dynamics of solar gains, and glare protection
- Quantum dot solar concentrators for building integrated photovoltaics
- Energy efficiency of public transportation
- Electrochromic materials for smart windows
- Angular dependent optical and thermal properties of advanced architectural glazing
WO2017134589 (A1) : Coating for optical and electronic applications – Single- or multilayered coating, such as a selective solar absorber coating or a coating being part of an integrated electronic circuit, comprising one or more layers containing germanium (Ge) doped VO2+x, where -0.1 ≤ x ≤ 0.1.
Krammer Anna, Paone Antonio, Schüler Andreas
PCT/IB2017/051952: Solar cooker
Mauree Dasaraden, Schueler Andreas, Diévart Alexandre, Bouvard Olivia
WO 2014045141 A2: Laminated glazing with coloured reflection and high solar transmittance suitable for solar energy systems
Le Caër Hody Virginie, Schüler Andreas (Déposant SwissInso SA)
WO 2014045144 A1: Interference filter with angular independent orange colour of reflection and high solar transmittance, suitable for roof-integration of solar energy systems
www.glassdbase.ch – an independent and comprehensive building glass database set up by University of Basel, Switzerland and now managed by LESO-PB
O. Bouvard, J.-L. Scartezzini and A. Schueler (Dirs.). Coatings with tailored electronic and optical properties for advanced glazing. EPFL PhD thesis n° 9199 (2019)
Microstructured glazing for daylighting, glare protection, seasonal thermal control and clear view. EPFL PhD thesis, n° 6465 (2015)
A. Paone, J.-L. Scartezzini and A. Schueler (Dirs.). Switchable Selective Absorber Coatings for Overheating Protection of Solar Thermal Collectors. EPFL PhD thesis, n° 5878 (2013)
Développement et optimisation de revêtements minces nanostructurés pour capteurs solaires thermiques et modules photovoltaïques. EPFL PhD thesis, n° 5541 (2012).
Award winning publications
Jing Gong, André Kostro, Jean-Louis Scartezzini, Andreas Schueler, Feasibility study on a novel daylighting system with embedded micro compound parabolic concentrators (CPCs), Nonimaging optics best paper award – SPIE Optical Engineering & Applications, 2018, 19-20 August 2018, San Diego, CA, USA 2018
Martin Joly, Yan Antonetti, Martin Python, Marina Gonzalez, Thomas Gascou, Jean-Louis Scartezzini, Andreas Schueler, Novel black selective coating for tubular solar absorbers based on a sol-gel method, Solar Energy Journal Best Paper Award 2012-2013
Peter Oelhafen, Andreas Schueler, Nanostructured materials for solar energy conversion, Solar Energy Journal Best Paper in Energy Conversion Award 2005/2006