Hi, my name is Martin Ledinsky, I live in the beautiful city of Prague in the center of the Czech Republic. I have a Ph.D. degree in Physics from the Charles University in Prague. I’m a father of three kids, a runner, doing mainly orienteering, and my hobby is science popularisation. In the PILATUS project, I lead the Czech group from the Institute of Physics (FZU).
What was your original motivation to become a researcher/project manager?
Curiosity, which is affecting my everyday life from the very begging. This feature used to complicate my childhood, I always used the most complicated way to solve a problem, simply because it was not boring. And this is what I do as my job now 😊
What is your (main) research area today?
I’m an optical micro-spectro-scopist, I probe the interaction of matter with light. Since these properties are crucial for photovoltaics, we study mainly new thin film materials for photovoltaics. Not only based on silicon in all forms but also the halide perovskites thin films and others.
What is the main focus of your team in PILATUS?
The team from FZU deals mainly with optical noncontact characterization. We are able to check the structural parameters of silicon thin films as well as precisely measure their thickness. On the other hand, we will test the final photovoltaic outdoor performance of the PILATUS IBC solar panels, so we will probe the solar cells from the nanoscale up to the macro scale.
From all your activities within the project, what are you the most proud of/keen to share with the public?
Ten years ago, during my postdoctoral stay at EPFL, we invented a precise thickness measurement for thin films on rough substrates. At that time the silicon IBC cell started to be prepared in PV-Lab and we used it for very basic characterization. Now a decade later, the original very simple idea developed in a fast imaging method potentially applicable as an inline quality test tool.
How do you expect the PILATUS results will impact your organisation and the PV sector in Europe?
FZU is a research institute, we are usually dealing with a fundamental understanding of physical processes. PILATUS is a huge experience for us as we are now in direct contact with companies and solving highly practical tasks. I hope we will be able to push the IBC technology altogether to the level, which allows its manufacturing here in Europe in a competitive way with the rest of the World.