2. Research
  3. Energy System Sugiyama Laboratory

Energy System Sugiyama Laboratory

Renewable energy system by interdisciplinary approach between electronics and chemistry

High-efficiency photovoltaic and chemical energy storage

Solar energy can take a majority of energy supply in our society if we can realize an energy system in which solar energy is stored in chemical substances in the regions with high irradiance and they are transported to the region of large energy demand. For such a system, it is promising to combine high efficiency photovoltaic (PV) power generation and electrochemical reactions to produce solar fuel, which is capable of long-term storage and transport. Our objective is to develop high efficiency PV cells and electrochemical reactors which are included in the system to produce “solar fuel.”

The core competence is semiconductor nano-crystals. PV can be twice as efficient as conventional technology by implementing the epitaxial nanostructures of compound semiconductor crystals into the modules with sunlight concentration. Our laboratory develops all the relevant technologies from the growth of nano-crystals to system evaluation. Semiconductor crystals are also important as the active sites of electrochemical reactions. Learning from photosynthesis in natural leaves is important in order to boost an efficiency of electrochemical water splitting and the active sites in leaves are composed of metal oxides, a kind of semiconductor. We aim at highefficiency production of “solar fuel” by implementing an essential mechanism of natural photosynthesis into artificial crystals. The key exists at the interface between a semiconductor and a solution. Trials are continued to obtain a guiding principle for controlling electrochemical reactions through an interdisciplinary approach between semiconductor physics and electrochemistry.

Furthermore, system integration is our important target including the construction of circuit systems to manage the efficiency-maximum operation point of each element and the backcasting approach to extract the key issues of elements from the performance of an entire system.

“Solar-fuel” energy system
High-efficiency epitaxial solar cells
Metal-organic vapor-phase epitaxy


  • Masakazu SUGIYAMA
  • Specialized field:High-efficiency photovoltaic, Semiconductor crystal growth and device process, Energy conversion
Project Associate Professor Tsutomu MINEGISHI
Project Lecturer Kentaroh WATANABE
Research Associate Masahiro SATO
Project Research Associate Hassanet SODABANLU
<As of May 2020>


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