Dr E.C. Garnett (1982) has been named professor by special appointment of Nanoscale Photovoltaics at the University of Amsterdam’s (UvA) Faculty of Science. The chair was established on behalf of the Foundation for the Promotion of Atomic and Molecular Physics.
Erik Garnett’s research focuses on the interactions between light and matter on the nanometre scale, with a particular emphasis on how control at the nanoscale can lead to better solar cells, light-emitting diodes and other energy conversion devices. Light has a wavelength of several hundred nanometres, which means that by structuring materials on the same length scale, a variety of surprising and useful interactions appear. In particular, this allows for exquisite control over the intensity, direction and colour of light absorption, scattering and emission, all key processes in optoelectronic and energy conversion devices.
As professor by special appointment, Garnett will focus on two major research directions. The first is a novel method for making high-quality monocrystalline materials using nanocube synthesis, assembly and epitaxy. This will allow for unprecedented material quality with simple, cheap and scalable techniques for nanostructure formation. The second is exploring the thermodynamic limits of nanophotonic light-matter interaction control. This will lead to designs for the ultimate nanoscale photovoltaic.
Garnett obtained his PhD from the University of California Berkeley (US) in 2009, following which he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University. In 2012, he joined AMOLF where he created and will continue to lead his own research group.
Garnett is the recipient of various research grants, including a prestigious Starting Grant from the European Research Council, a NWO VIDI Grant and an AMOLF-DIFFER Collaboration Grant. He has published extensively in various international peer-reviewed journals such as Nature Communications, Advanced Materials and Nature Nanotechnology.