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And the EmErgEnt winner is... SOLS: Accelerator of photovoltaic technologies

EmErgEnt Award from the Efficient Energy Cluster in Catalunya (Clúster de l’Energia Eficient de Catalunya, CEEC) in the "Llavor" category for a patented instrument at ICMAB to optimize photovoltaic cells.

21 June 2023
Alejandro Goñi receiving the EmErgEnt award | CEEC
The project presented by ICMAB reserachers is "SOLS - Accelerator of photovoltaic technologies" and is an instrument to obtain light with different specific spectrums (light on demand), that can be used for the reserach in optoelectronics and photovoltaics. 

"What a thrill! We have been awarded the EmErgEnt prize of the Clúster de l'Energia Eficient de Catalunya for our SOLS project. We were one of the three finalists and in a great gala at the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya the award was decided in our favor! First prize in the Llavor category! Thank you very much to all of you!" says Mariano Campoy-Quiles, one of the members of the team in his LinkedIn profile. 

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Alejandro Goñi receiving the EmErgEnt award | CEEC

"The project is about a patented equipment at ICMAB that allows to generate a light beam with completely tunable intensity and color properties, which will accelerate the development of a myriad of photovoltaic technologies. Specifically, the instrument allows the evaluation of materials to optimize photovoltaic cells exposed to different light spectra, such as that found in the tropics or in areas near the poles, in the mountains, in space, under the sea, with artificial light (for IoT applications) or in agrovoltaics." he adds. 

Video of summero of the Efficient Energy Night | CEEC

The team is formed by ICMAB researchers Alejandro Goñi (ICREA researcher) and Mariano Campoy-Quiles, PhD researcher Miquel Casademont, and Project Manager Eulàlia Pujades

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Mariano Campoy-Quiles, Alejandro Goñi, Eulàlia Pujades, Miquel Casademont | CEEC

"For the group of people behind SOLS, the most important aspect of winning this award is the recognition of the innovation potential of the idea and for all the effort and work associated with the project. It is also worth mentioning that this award has contributed to gaining visibility and exposure for the SOLS project, what gives us more credibility and reputation when looking for potential partners/interested companies/investors..." says Alejandro Goñi, one of the members of the team. 

"On a personal level, we believe that this recognition is a great boost in terms of motivation and self-confidence, especially for the youngest of the group" he continues. 

The SOLS project is a new lighting device suitable for the spectroscopic characterization of materials for photovoltaic applications and/or for optical and/or optoelectronic devices. The device, named "SOLS: Spectrum On Demand Light Source", is a lighting device that tunes the type and intensity of the light spectrum on demand.

This innovative device provides a modifiable, focused, spectrally split light beam, modulated in intensity and in a wavelength range with respect to the beam of the incoming light source. With this new device some of the standard characterizations of optical and optoelectronic devices can be done with a single device, the SOLS. 

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SOLS equipment emmitting light in different colors | ICMAB, CSIC 

Although the goal of SOLS is to deliver a product that consists of an advanced device of lighting that can produce almost any type of output spectrum on demand, the scientific impact of the project is expected to be significant in materials science, more specifically in the research of materials for photovoltaics (PV) and other solar technologies. This is so because the end users of our machine are mainly, but not exclusively, researchers who are developing new and better performing materials and devices for a more sustainable energy conversion and production.

Next steps

"As for the next steps, turning the actual SOLS lab implementation into a compact, automated setup is crucial to its go-to-market step. This implies the search for a more compact geometry and an automated and intelligent form of color adjustment, which is the heart of the SOLS light source. Although the research team has already been thinking about different possibilities in this regard, there is still a long way to go before the creation of the first prototype" concludes Goñi. 

Moreover, the SOLS equipment is patented and industrial partners are being sought to collaborate through a patent license agreement. Maybe you are interested in developing this product? Or interested in some of its applications? Don't hesitate to contact the team or our Technology Transfer Officer, Alfonso del Rey (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), for more information.

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The event took place at the Teatre Nacional de Catalunya | CEEC 

CEEC Awards

The EmErgEnt Awards are organized by the Efficient Energy Cluster in Catalunya (Clúster de l’Energia Eficient de Catalunya, CEEC). You can find here the Terms and Conditions of this year 2023 edition. 

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Alejandro Goñi presenting the SOLS project | CEEC 

Meet the team

The work team that currently participates in the development of the SOLS device is a multi- and interdisciplinary team that is led by two permanent researchers of the ICMAB-CSIC, the ICREA research professor Alejandro R. Goñi and the research professor Mariano Campoy-Quiles. The team also includes a postdoc, two doctoral researchers, a technician and a project manager, all members of the NANOPTO (Nanostructured Materials for Optoelectronics and Energy Harvesting) group of the ICMAB-CSIC.

Alejandro Goñi

Prof. Alejandro Goñi is ICREA Research Prof. at the Institute of Materials Science of Barcelona, ICMAB-CSIC, since 2003. He graduated in physics (Balseiro Institute, Argentina), received his PhD at Max-Planck Institute FKF in Stuttgart and performed postdoctoral stays at AT&T Bell Labs, Murray Hill, and MPI-FKF Stuttgart. He was appointed Research/Teaching Associate at the Technical University of Berlin, where he performed his Habilitation. He was awarded the Karl-Scheel Prize of the Physical Society of Berlin for his achievements in high-pressure semiconductor physics.

He is an experimental physicist with broad interests and expertise in the physics of nano-structured materials, optical spectroscopy, high-pressure techniques and metal halide perovskites. He is co-author in 220 peer-reviewed scientific papers and two dissemination publications, co-inventor in two patents and has given more than 90 invited/keynote talks. He is/has been principal investigator in 15 projects (including 9 from the Spanish, 2 from the German and 2 from the Argentinean funding agencies, 1 Marie-Curie action and 1 industrial project), raising up to ca. 3 million € in research funding.

Mariano Campoy-Quiles

Prof. Mariano Campoy-Quiles is a materials scientist who has chosen to address one of the most critical problems facing humanity: the future supply of clean energy. He has built substantial research efforts in two application areas, solar photovoltaic (light to electric) and thermoelectric (heat to electric) energy conversion. Prof. Campoy-Quiles is a physicist from the University of Santiago de Compostela (2000), and has been awarded a PhD in experimental physics from Imperial College London, UK (2005), a Japan Society for Promotion of Science postdoctoral fellowship (2007), a Ramon y Cajal research fellowship (2009), a permanent position as tenured scientist of CSIC (2012), the Most Outstanding Young Researcher in Experimental Physics Award (from the Spanish Royal Society of Physics and Fundación BBVA) (2012), an individual European Research Council Consolidator grant (2014) and promotion to research scientist of CSIC (2018).

He is co-author in 133 papers, co-inventor in five patents, co-author in five dissemination papers, has given more than 40 invited/plenary talks at international conferences and has recently co-founded a spin-off company. He is/has been the principal investigator in 17 projects (including 5 Plan Estatal, two Marie Curie ITN (as partner), an ERC Consolidator Grant, and 2 ERC PoC) and many contracts with industry, summing up about 5.4 million €.

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Attendees of the event at the TNC | CEEC 

Miquel Casademont

Miquel Casademont Viñas graduated in Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (specialization in Materials Science) from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (2019) and he got his Master degree in Advanced Nanoscience and Nanotechnology also from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (2020). He is a nanotechnologist who is currently pursuing a PhD under the supervision of Prof. Mariano Campoy-Quiles and Prof. Alejandro R. Goñi. His work is focused on the fabrication and characterization of spectral splitting organic solar cells. He is co-inventor in the SOLS technology patent.

Eulàlia Pujades

Eulàlia Pujades Otero obtained her Bachelor Degree in Chemistry in 2014 and a Master Degree in Industrial Chemistry and Introduction to Chemical Research in 2015 both from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB, Spain). She is currently the project manager at the Nanopto group at Institut de Ciència de Materials de Barcelona (ICMAB-CSIC). She has a strong interest in the field of project management and technology transfer and in this sense she has attended technology transfer, entrepreneurs and project and quality management courses over the last 7 years. She obtained a Postgraduate Degree in Technology Transfer in 2021 from Barcelona School of Management – Universitat Pompeu Fabra (BSM-UPF, Spain). Moreover, she has diverse experience in the industrial sector as supporting technician, research assistant and technical and quality manager.

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