I plan to explore polymer metasurface (MS) freeform optical elements to enhance the efficiency of concentrated photovoltaics (CPV). A MS can shape an optical wavefront with sub-wavelength resolution, enabling total control of the propagation and polarization of incident light.
In my graduate research, I have demonstrated operation of silicon nitride MS freeform optics, and have shown that using materials with low dielectric constants does not hinder the desired functionality. This has opened up the possibility of making a MS using organic polymers, allowing us to potentially print MS elements. I will use ray optics and electromagnetic simulations to design concentrating MSs. Initially, I will fabricate the MS using electron beam lithography and characterize its performance in terms of its focusing efficiency and its ability to provide uniform illumination. In parallel, we will explore the possibility of printing MS in collaboration with other CEI faculty.
Advisor Arka Majumdar -Electrical Engineering