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Top Researchers in Photovoltaics in Europe

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Top Researchers in Photovoltaics in Europe

Solar photovoltaics (PV) power generation is one of the pillars of the plans to decarbonise the EU’s power supply and it will play a major role in achieving the target of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions target from 40% towards 55% by 2030, thereby mitigating the carbon emission.

This list consists of researchers and scientists working in the field of photovoltaics and its components. 

Criteria for selection:

  • Researching photovoltaics, solar energy technologies
  • Publication record and strong or rising citation index
  • Photoelectrochemical cells
  • Development of novel solar cell concepts
  • Thin film deposition techniques

Angèle Reinders

Angèle Reinders is a full professor of ‘Design of Sustainable Energy Systems’ at the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology.

She aims at an optimal use and integration of sustainable energy technologies in products, buildings and local infrastructures.

She is known for her books at Wiley’s “The Power of Design” (2012) and “Photovoltaic Solar Energy From Fundamentals to Applications” (2017) and her involvement in the IEEE PVSC conference which she chaired in 2014 and 2017.

In 2010 she co-founded the Journal of Photovoltaics for which she serves as an editor.


  • Sierra Rodriguez, A., de Santana, T., MacGill, I., Ekins‐Daukes, N.J. and Reinders, A. (2020). A feasibility study of solar PV‐powered electric cars using an interdisciplinary modeling approach for the electricity balance, CO2 emissions, and economic aspects: The cases of The Netherlands, Norway, Brazil, and Australia. Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, 28(6), pp.517-532. https://doi.org/10.1002/pip.3202.

Andy Monkman

Director of the University of Durham Photonic Materials Centre and head of the Organic Electroactive Materials research group.

Professor Andrew Monkman joined Durham University in 1988 and was appointed to a Personal Chair in 2002.

He runs the OEM research group focusing on the study of the optical properties of organic semiconductors, with special focus on organic solid state lighting.

His research interests include organic light emitting displays, ultrafast laser spectroscopy materials characterization, optical spectroscopy and development of new spectroscopic techniques.


  • Dias, F.B., Penfold, T.J. and Monkman, A.P. (2017). Photophysics of thermally activated delayed fluorescence molecules. Methods and applications in fluorescence, 5(1), p.012001. https://doi.org/10.1088/2050-6120/aa537e.

W.C. Sinke

Wim Sinke is Principal Scientist and Program Manager Solar Energy at TNO Energy Transition, professor Photovoltaic Energy Conversion at the University of Amsterdam and visiting scientist/advisor at AMOLF in Amsterdam. 

He is also co-chair of the European Technology and Innovation Platform for Photovoltaics (ETIP PV) and co-chair of the Implementation Working Group (IWG) PV.

He was a visiting scientist in 1986-87 at the Hitachi Central Research Laboratory in Tokyo. In 1987 he re-joined AMOLF and in 1990 he moved to the Energy research Centre of the Netherlands ECN to set up a group on photovoltaics (PV), which now covers silicon and thin-film solar cells, modules and systems and environmental and economic analyses of PV.ECN joined forces with TNO in 2018. 

Wim Sinke has published hundreds of scientific and popular papers on many aspects of solar energy, and received several prestigious awards, including the Royal Dutch/Shell Prize for Sustainable Development and Energy in 1999 and the European Becquerel Prize for outstanding merits in photovoltaics in 2011. In 2015 he was appointed a Knight in the Order of the Netherlands Lion for his contributions to the development and promotion of solar energy.


  • Haegel, N.M., Atwater, H., Barnes, T., Breyer, C., Burrell, A., Chiang, Y.M., De Wolf, S., Dimmler, B., Feldman, D., Glunz, S., Goldschmidt, J.C. et al. (2019). Terawatt-scale photovoltaics: Transform global energy. Science, 364(6443), pp.836-838. Available at: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/364/6443/836/tab-pdf.

Erwin Kessels

Erwin Kessels is a full professor at the Department of Applied Physics of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).

He is also the scientific director of the [email protected]/e facilities which provides full-service and open-access clean room infrastructure for R&D in nanotechnology.

Erwin’s research interests cover the field of synthesis of ultrathin films and nanostructures using methods such as (plasma-enhanced) chemical vapor deposition (CVD) and atomic layer deposition (ALD) for a wide variety of applications, mostly within the areas of nanoelectronics and photovoltaics.

Within the field of ALD, he has contributed most prominently by his work on plasma-assisted ALD, his research related to ALD for photovoltaics, and ALD for nanopatterning (including area-selective ALD).

Currently, Erwin is focusing his research mostly on atomic scale processing, a field which is believed to grow in importance quickly in the next decade, for a wide variety of application domains.


  • Van de Loo, B.W., Macco, B., Schnabel, M., Stodolny, M.K., Mewe, A.A., Young, D.L., Nemeth, W., Stradins, P. and Kessels, W.M. (2020). On the hydrogenation of Poly-Si passivating contacts by Al2O3 and SiNx thin films. Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, 215, p.110592. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.solmat.2020.110592.

Dr Vincent Barrioz

Vincent Barrioz joined Northumbria University in 2015 as a Senior Lecturer within the Department of Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering.

Over the last 20 years, Dr. Barrioz has been working on photonic structures and devices, with special focus on photovoltaic devices.

His research has led to the development of key layers in thin film photovoltaic structures for doped thin film CdTe solar cells achieving conversion efficiency of approximately 15%, fabricated using an innovative patented all-MOCVD dry process.


  • Yang, X., Wu, Y., Huang, X., Barrioz, V., Kartopu, G., Monir, S. and Irvine, S.J. (2013). Numerical simulation of the deposition process and the epitaxial growth of cadmium telluride thin film in a MOCVD reactor. Computational Thermal Sciences: An International Journal, 5(3). https://doi.org/10.1615/ComputThermalScien.2013006321.

Peter Wilson

Peter Wilson is Professor of Electronics and Systems Engineering in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at the University of Bath.

Professor Wilson’s current research interests include behavioural modelling and simulation, power electronics system modelling and analysis, autonomous systems and robotics, intelligent systems, neuromorphic computing, renewable energy system design and analysis.

He is a Fellow of the IET, Senior Member of the IEEE, and is currently serving as Executive Vice President of the IEEE Power Electronics Society.


Prof Nicola Pearsall

Prof. Pearsall is in the Department of Physics and Electrical Engineering at Northumbria University, where she is a professor of renewable energy specializing in photovoltaics.

She teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate level on energy topics, including photovoltaic system technology.

Prof. Pearsall leads the Northumbria Photovoltaics Applications Group, which conducts research in thin film solar cell development and PV systems.

She has over 25 years of research experience in this field, including PV system design, analysis of PV system performance and assessment of environmental impact.

She also engages in collaborative work on the impact of renewable energy on the electricity grid and within the built environment.


  • Bhagavathy, S., Pearsall, N., Putrus, G. and Walker, S. (2019). Performance of UK Distribution Networks with single-phase PV systems under fault. International Journal of Electrical Power & Energy Systems, 113, pp.713-725. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijepes.2019.05.077.

Arthur Weeber

Arthur Weeber finished his Masters in Physics at the University of Amsterdam in the field of solid-state physics.

He completed his Masters in Chemical Engineering at the same university with specialization anaerobic wastewater treatments.

After several years of being a senior manager at ECN, he became senior scientist at the Solar Energy department in 2015.

In the same year he started as part-time professor at Delft University of Technology in the Photovoltaic Materials and Devices group (department Electrical Sustainable Energy, faculty Electrical Engineering Mathematics).

Currently, he is Program Manager for PV Technologies at TNO Energy Transition.


  • Limodio, G., Yang, G., De Groot, Y., Procel, P., Mazzarella, L., Weber, A.W., Isabella, O. and Zeman, M. (2020). Implantation‐based passivating contacts for crystalline silicon front/rear contacted solar cells. Progress in Photovoltaics: research and applications, 28(5), pp.403-416. https://doi.org/10.1002/pip.3250.

Mariadriana Creatore

Mariadriana Creatore is Associate Professor of Applied Physics at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). 

She is responsible at TU/e for the courses on Solar Cells (M.Sc. course) and Physics principles of new energy sources (Bachelor College course).

Her research initially focused on plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition, but now includes other thin film deposition techniques, such as initiated-CVD and (plasma-assisted) atomic layer deposition.

Presently, she explores the theme of interface engineering for the control on charge carrier processes in dye-sensitized, perovskite and CIGS solar cells.


  • Kuang, Y., Zardetto, V., van Gils, R., Karwal, S., Koushik, D., Verheijen, M.A., Black, L.E., Weijtens, C., Veenstra, S., Andriessen, R. and Kessels, W.M. (2018). Low-temperature plasma-assisted atomic-layer-deposited SnO2 as an electron transport layer in planar Perovskite solar cells. ACS applied materials & interfaces, 10(36), pp.30367-30378. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.8b09515.

Dr Budhika Mendis

Budhika Mendis is Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at Durham University.

He has nearly 20 years experience in Electron Microscopy.

His research includes theory of electron beam scattering as well as electron microscopy characterization of photovoltaic materials, particularly the structure, chemistry and optoelectronic properties of interfaces


  • Barthel, J., Cattaneo, M., Mendis, B.G., Findlay, S.D. and Allen, L.J. (2020). Angular dependence of fast-electron scattering from materials. Physical Review B, 101(18), p.184109. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.101.184109.

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