Meet the Team: AMO

FreeHydroCells is a multi-partner European collaboration between project lead University College Cork (Ireland), and AMO GmbH (Germany), CEA (France), CNR (Italy), RWTH Aachen (Germany), BARDS Acoustic Science Labs (Ireland) and UCC Academy (Ireland). The project is funded by the EU’s Horizon Europe programme.

We caught up with Research Associate and PhD student Desislava Daskalova of AMO GmbH about the team’s expertise in nanotechnology, and how that feeds into FreeHydroCells project work.

Introducing AMO GmbH

Founded in 1993 in Aachen, Germany, AMO GmbH is a research institute for nanotechnology. Its mission is to bridge the gap between fundamental science, innovation and applications. With decades-long expertise in semiconductor technology, AMO acts as a pathfinder for new technologies in the fields of nanoelectronics, photonics, sensor technology, diagnostics, energy and environment. The company cooperates closely with RWTH Aachen University. It runs a 400m² cleanroom with over 80 employees across 30+ publicly funded research and development projects.

AMO's important role in FreeHydroCells

In FreeHydroCells, AMO is heavily involved in Work Package 1, starting with the building blocks of the proposed photoelectrochemical (PEC) cell design. These are single thin films of transparent conductive oxides (TCOs) and transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). AMO also leads Work Package 2. This focuses on the material growth of the multilayer, multijunction PEC cells, their characterisation and optimisation. AMO researchers will tap into their expertise in device engineering based on thin film/2D materials and the nanofabrication of novel photocatalytic surfaces. Working closely with partners from UCC and CNR, AMO will aim to provide the project with the know-how and infrastructure necessary to achieve the multijunction material stack for the PEC cell. AMO will support the rest of the consortium in demonstrating the cell’s functionality and further project activities.

Getting to know the AMO team

The AMO team working on FreeHydroCells includes:

Dr. Ulrich Plachetka
Head of Sensor Technology department

Ulrich has been a project manager at AMO since 2007 and head of the Sensor Technology & Transducers group since 2014. He received his PhD from RWTH Aachen University (Germany) in 2013. In research, he has focused on optical and environmental engineering. Particularly, with an emphasis on nanostructuring, new semiconductor materials and plasmonics for solar cells, sensors, and more recently photocatalysis.

Ulrich’s full profile is available on LinkedIn.

Desislava Daskalova
Research Associate/PhD Student

Desislava obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Photonics from Sofia University, Bulgaria. She has a Master’s degree in Physics from the University of Stuttgart, Germany, with a scholarship from the Max Planck Institute for Solid State Research. At AMO, she is pursuing a PhD in Physics and has worked in Dr. Plachetka’s Sensor Technology group since 2019. She joined FreeHydroCells as a researcher to grow and investigate the TCO/TMD materials and multijunctions.

Desislava’s full profile is available on ResearchGate.

Prof. Max Lemme
Professor, RWTH Aachen University and CEO at AMO GmbH

Prof. Lemme joined AMO in 1998. He obtained his PhD in Electrical Engineering from RWTH Aachen University in 2003, and became both Group Leader in Nanoelectronics and Manager of the clean room. From 2008, he spent two years at Harvard University, Cambridge, USA. Here he focused exclusively on scientific research activities as a Humboldt-Fellow. In 2010 he was appointed as Visiting Professor at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. During this time he worked on several projects in the field of graphene. In 2012 he returned to Germany to accept a full professorship on Graphene-based Nanotechnology at the University of Siegen.

Since 2017, Prof. Lemme is the Managing Director of AMO and a full professor at RWTH Aachen, where heads the Chair of Electronic Devices. His research interests include new materials like graphene, two-dimensional materials and perovskites and how to integrate them into electronic, optoelectronic and nanoelectromechanical devices.

In FreeHydroCells, Prof. Lemme has separate and distinct roles in the project as Principal Investigator in AMO (Pathfinding R&D) and RWTH (Academic). His full profile and more information is available on LinkedIn, his Chair of Electronic Devices page, ResearchGate, Google Scholar and ORCiD

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