Becquerel Prize 2018

The Becquerel Prize 2018 is awarded to


  Prof. Peter Wuerfel, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany.


The Prize will be awarded at the opening of this year’s European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, Brussels, 24. September 2018.

Prof. Wuerfel receives the Becquerel Prize 2018 in recognition of his fundamental contribution to the theory of photovoltaic energy conversion. His theoretical approach is characterized by a consistent application of thermodynamic concepts: electrochemical potentials for modelling processes in the absorber material and the chemical potential of light - deduced from the generalization of Planck’s radiation law – for characterizing the absorbed solar radiation and the emitted luminescent radiation of solar cells.

By providing a deeper understanding of photovoltaic energy conversion, the work of Prof. Wuerfel has significantly influenced the development of technologies like selective contacts or tools like the luminescence analysis of solar cells.

Prof. Wuerfel presented the physical/thermodynamic principles of direct solar electric energy conversion in his highly regarded book ”Physics of Solar Cells”. This book has imparted a physics-based knowledge on the functionality of solar cells to almost a whole generation of scientists and has paved the way for new photovoltaic technologies.