Manuel J. Mendes

Assistant Professor and R&D Team Leader of NanoPhotonics & Energy group

Prof. Manuel J. Mendes was born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1982, and received the Engineering Licenciatura degree in Physics in 2005 from Instituto Superior Técnico, Univ. de Lisboa (IST-UL). In 2008 he completed a Master of Science degree from Rice University (Houston, USA), working in Carbon Nanotubes technology for Energy Harvesting, at the group of the Nobel Laureate Richard Smalley who is considered one of the founding fathers of Nanotechnology.

In 2012 he completed his PhD in Photovoltaics (PV) at the Instituto de Energía Solar (Madrid, Spain) on the novel topic of Nanophotonics for Quantum-structured PV. At this point, he was already inventor of 2 U.S. Patents - the first distinguished with an award from NASA Inventions & Contributions Board, and the second opened a new research line in Plasmonic Intermediate-band Solar Cells. This was followed by 2 Post-Docs in IMM-CNR (Italy, 2012-4) and CENIMAT (Portugal, 2014-6), funded by 2 prestigious Marie-Curie Fellowships, in Photonic-enhanced Thin-film Photovoltaics.

He is now Professor and R&D Team Leader at the Dep. of Materials Science of FCT-NOVA, where he leads the fields of Light Management for Photovoltaics and Solar Fuels, and has been honoured with 5 prestigious awards such as the 2020 FEMS Communication Award for Excellence in Materials Science & Eng.

Research Interests:

  • Renewable Energies, with focus in Solar Electricity
  • Photonics for Light Management in Solar Cells
  • Nanotechnology solutions for Photovoltaics
  • Artificial Photosynthesis via Solar-powered CO2-to-Fuel