Novel nano-materials approaches towards opto-electronics and energy applications


Lund University, NanoLund and Solid State Physics, Box 118, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden

Also Founder and Chief Scientist of QuNano AB, Glo AB, Sol Voltaics AB and Hexagem AB.


In spite of often superior properties, in terms of materials and device performance, compound semi- conductors like GaAs and GaN often encounter difficulties in market acceptance, in most cases due to issues of fabrication costs. Nanowires (NWs) constitute a special case due to the opportunities they offer to form highly ideal one-dimensional materials that can be designed into three-dimensional heterostructures via axial as well as radial heterostructures, furthermore with the ability as a technology to add compound semiconductor functionality to a silicon platform. I will structure this presentation into three areas:

(1) The development of high-quality GaN nanowires forming the basis for visible light-emitting diodes [1], primarily with application opportunities in displays, presently with a huge potential market in the areas of micro-LEDs for direct-view displays.

(2) Know-how gained from nitride NW nucleation offers a technology base for realization of relaxed and dislocation-free, c-oriented GaN and InGaN platelets and wafers [2] of significant value for directly driven RGB-emitting LEDs. Many applications areas for nitrides, for optics as well as RF/Power-applications, need higher quality, low dislocation density, wafers.

(3) Opportunities to drastically reduce cost of NW fabrication, based on a dramatically novel growth approach, which we have given the name Aerotaxy [3], by which NWs are grown in an aerosol phase, without use of substrates. I will discuss means by which such NWs may be processed into thin films, thus bridging the many orders of magnitude from discrete NW-devices to square-meter scale applications like for solar cells [4, 5].



[1] B. Monemar et al., “Nanowire-Based Visible Light Emitters, Present Status and Outlook”, Chapter 7 in Semiconductors and Semimetals 94, 227-271 (2016).

[2] L. Samuelson et al., “Gallium nitride nano-sized LEDs”, SPIE newsroom, 10.1117/2.1201603.006385 (2016).

[3] M. Heurlin et al., “Continuous gas-phase synthesis of nanowires with tunable properties”, Nature Vol. 492, 90 (2012)

[4] J. Wallentin et al., “InP Nanowire Array Solar Cells Achieving 13.8% Efficiency by Exceeding the Ray Optics Limit”, Science Vol 339, 1057 (2013)

[5] I. Åberg et al., “A GaAs Nanowire Array Solar Cell with 15.3% Efficiency at 1 sun”, IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics Vol. 6, 185 (2016)


Summary of academic career

Lars Samuelson received his Ph.D. degree from Lund University in 1977, dealing with optical studies and modeling of defects in semiconductors, followed by a Post-doc at IBM Research, San José, CA, working in the fields of optical devices and band-structure calculations. In 1986 he became Professor at Göteborg Univ./Chalmers and returned in 1988 to a Professorship in Lund. At that time he started what quickly developed into the primary center for Nanoscience in Sweden. He is recognized for his research on low-dimensional structures and the physics and applications thus made possible. In recent years his research has been focused on the formation of one-dimensional nanowires, studies of their physical properties, as well as applications of semiconductor nanowires in fields like photovoltaics, light-emitting diodes as well as nanoelectronics. He has given at least 300 invited talks at international conferences and meetings and has published more than 600 papers in refereed journals (h-index≈78; m-index≈2.0).  He is Fellow of the Inst. of Physics (UK) and of the American Physical Society (Materials Physics) and is a Member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, KVA (Physics class) and of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, IVA. In 2008 he was awarded as “Einstein Professor” by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in 2011 the Ideon Prize for Innovation, and in 2013 the IUVSTA Prize for Science of the Triennium 2010 – 2013, and in 2014 he was awarded the “Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience”. Beside his academic research he is the founder and chief scientist of a set of companies dealing with materials science (QuNano AB), electronics (Hexagem AB), photovoltaics (Sol Voltaics AB) and light-emitting diodes (Glo AB).