TUM.solar: About us
TUM.solar is a Bavarian Keylab in the scientific Network Solar Technologies go Hybrid (SolTech) . Just like the Network for Renewable Energy (NRG) TUM.solar is an integral part of Munich Institute of Integrated Materials, Energy and Process Engineering (MEP)
New materials for energy conversion and energy storage and new concepts for the controlled structuring of material interfaces open up an enormous potential to forward the use of renewable energy to new areas in the future. Thus, with nanomaterials and hybrid systems completely new concepts and visions for energy conversion and storage will be made possible.
The research on solar energy conversion and storage of these nanomaterials and organic-organic and organic-inorganic hybrid systems is the focus of TUM.solar. A wide field of possibilities for decentralized energy production is opened reaching from photocatalytic processes to more cost-effective photovoltaics. The corresponding fundamental questions concern aspects of material production and the charge transfer at interfaces. To this end, theoretical and experimental investigations of research groups from Physics, Chemistry (especially from the Catalytic Center) and Electrical Engineering complement each other in TUM.solar.
The future generation of solar cells for example creates entirely new ways of use and application. By fluid-processed manufacturing the shape and mobility of the solar cells of the future will reach completely new dimensions, e.g. in applications of portable consumer electronics or large-scale solar power systems in megacities. In addition, new materials allow alternative manufacturing processes which can lead to significantly reduced costs, thus providing an economical energy supply for the future.
The photocatalysis offers new approaches for energy storage beyond the now popular storage media. New catalytic materials and a targeted structuring of electrolyte interfaces are concepts that promise an increase in efficiency. Examples such as the photochemical CO2 reduction and water splitting can provide approaches towards so-called "green technologies" as well.
Photocatalysis combined with photovoltaics furthermore offers unique synergies. In integrated systems the charge conversion and the charge storage at the nanoscale can be directly linked to one another. The targeted optimization of symbiotic systems for photocatalytic and photovoltaic instead of individual optimization independent systems is a new, challenging approach that will be tracked centrally by TUM.solar. For this purpose both basic physicochemical processes as well as application-oriented issues such as the realization of prototypes and demonstrators will be explored by TUM.solar.