Prof Giulia Tagliabue
Laboratory of Nanoscience for Energy Technologies (LNET), EPFL


Harnessing Light-Matter Interactions at the Nanoscale for Energy Conversion and Optoelectronic Devices


Nanoscale design links diverse processes across multiple scales in time and space and transforms traditional approaches to transport engineering and thermal management. In particular, nanophotonic approaches enable the control of the intimate interplay of light, heat and electronics leading to conceptually novel systems and device architectures for energy and optoelectronics. In this talk we will first show that ultra-rapid heaters with negligible thermal inertia and atomically-thin solar-cells can be created by using nano-structuring to achieve efficient light harvesting in the extreme limit of nanometer-scale thick materials. Next, we will discuss how, by controlling non-equilibrium light-material interactions, new avenues for nanoscale interfacial transport can be devised with promising applications in ultra-fast optoelectronic devices and excited-states chemical transformations.


Dr. Giulia Tagliabue is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Mechanical Engineering (IGM) at EPFL. Her research focuses on exploring innovative mechanisms and concepts for light harnessing and energy conversion by exploiting non-equilibrium (ballistic) transport processes and by leveraging on strong light/solid/liquid coupling at the nanoscale. She obtained her B.S. and M.S degrees cum laude in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Udine in Italy. Concurrently she also obtained the diploma from the Scuola Normale Superiore of Udine. After being research assistant at EPFL, in 2010 she moved to ETH Zurich as a PhD student. In 2015, she obtained her PhD in Mechanical Engineering with a thesis on nanophotonic design for light-to-heat and light-to-charge conversion devices. In 2015 Dr. Tagliabue was awarded an Early Mobility Fellowship from the Swiss National Science Foundation and moved to Caltech as a PostDoctoral fellow. Thanks to the award of an Advanced Mobility Fellowship, she prolonged her stay at Caltech until fall 2018. Here, in collaboration with the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP), Dr. Tagliabue investigated coupled light, heat and charge transfer processes in nanophotonic structures and low-dimensional materials for photoelectrochemical and photovoltaic sustainable energy conversion.