Manuel João de Moura Dias Mendes

Advanced Functional Materials for Micro and Nanotechnologies
Assistant Professor



Prof. Manuel J. Mendes was born in Lisbon, Portugal, in 1982. He received the Engineering degree in Physics in 2005 from Instituto Superior Técnico, Univ. de Lisboa (IST-UL), the Master of Science degree in Applied Physics in 2008 from Rice University (Houston, USA), and the Ph.D. in Photovoltaic Solar Energy in 2012 from Instituto de Energía Solar (Madrid, Spain) on the novel topic of Nanophotonics for Multi-Band Photovoltaics.
He has been involved in 30 scientific projects (20 national, 10 European) in energy-related areas while working in USA (2005-08), Spain (2008-12), Italy (2012-14) and Portugal (2014-present). His research in Portugal has been performed at the Materials Research Center CENIMAT-i3N, where he has been PI of 4 projects (2 national, 2 European) and institution responsible for 5 projects (4 national, 1 European) related with photonic-enhanced solar cells, quantum-structured semiconductors, building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) and solar fuels via PV-powered CO2 recycling.
He acts as regular reviewer for >30 scientific journals, is author of >60 peer-reviewed publications, and co-inventor of 2 U.S. Patents. The first patent was distinguished with an award from NASA Inventions and Contributions Board, and the second opened a research line in plasmonic intermediate-band solar cells.
He has also been awarded with two prestigious Marie Curie Experienced-Research Fellowships (in 2012 and 2014) related with light management for solar cells, as well as 9 prestigious scientific honours, such as the 2020 FEMS Communication Award for Excellence in Materials Science & Eng. and the 2021 IN3+ Award of Imprensa Nacional Casa da Moeda (INCM) - the highest national prize for individual innovation projects.

Main publications

Light management with quantum nanostructured dots-in-host semiconductors. M. Alexandre, H. Águas, E. Fortunato, R. Martins, M. J. Mendes. Light: Science & Applications, 10, article 231 (2021) [cover article featured in 2021 Editors’ Highlights of LSA, Nature publishing group]

Wave-optical front structures on silicon and perovskite thin-film solar cells. M. J. Mendes, O. S.-Sobrado, S. Haque, T. Mateus, H. Águas, E. Fortunato, R. Martins.  Book chapter in Solar Cells and Light Management, Elsevier, 315-354 (2020).

Light trapping in solar cells: simple design rules to maximize absorption. K. Li, S. Haque, A. Martins, E. Fortunato, R. Martins, M. J. Mendes, C. S. Schuster. Optica, 7, 1377-1384 (2020). [top downloaded article from Optica in Oct. 2020 -  this contribution was communicated everywhere in the news worldwide, reaching an estimated audience of >1 million readers]

Sunlight-driven CO2-to-fuel conversion: Exploring thermal and electrical coupling between photovoltaic and electrochemical systems for optimum solar-methane production. A. C. Lourenço, A. S. Reis-Machado, E. Fortunato, R. Martins, M. J. Mendes. Materials Today Energy,17, 100425 (2020).

Photonic-structured TiO2 for high-efficiency, flexible and stable Perovskite solar cells. S. Haque, M. J. Mendes, O. S. Sobrado, H. Águas, E. Fortunato, R. Martins. Nano Energy, 59, 91–101 (2019).

Design of optimized wave-optical spheroidal nanostructures for photonic-enhanced solar cells. M. J. Mendes, A. Araújo, A. Vicente, H. Águas, I. Ferreira, E. Fortunato, R. Martins. Nano Energy, 26, 286-296 (2016).