Nano Engineering


The nano engineering group uses numerical methods to turn nano-science into nanotechnology. One example is our current focus on numerical optimisation of up-converting media for use in solar cells. The materials are nano structured with particles which focus the incoming light. Up-converting rare-earth atoms or nano particles are placed in the focused light and will convert it from long wavelength to short wavelength. The short wavelength light can then be absorbed in a solar cell, thereby boosting its efficiency. We apply parameter and topological optimisation to find the optimal nano-structures.

Another example  is our focus on atomistic simulations of nano-structures, for example to understand the processes in the fabrication of nano particles by vapor deposition methods, or to understand the elastic properties of nano wires.


  • Solar cells
  • Investigated using continuum mechanics and atomic model
  • Locating atomic positions is optimisation problem with ~ 100 million variables
  • Geometry, strain, electric field, and band structure can be calculated
  • Changing dot geometry changes material properties => Optimisation


  • Mathematical modelling of nanoscale structures to improve material performance
  • Finite Elements Method
  • Structural mechanics
  • Electromagnetics
  • Optimisation of geometry
  • Material parameters
  • Relaxation of atomic positions
  • Molecular dynamics/atomic simulations
  • Quantum mechanics


Group staff

> Joakim Vester-Petersen, PhD student

Key publications

    Up-conversion enhancement in Er3+ doped TiO2 through plasmonic coupling: Experiments and finite-element modeling. / Johannsen, Sabrina Rostgaard; Madsen, Søren Peder; Jeppesen, Bjarke Rolighed; Nygaard, Jens Vinge; Julsgaard, Brian; Balling, Peter; Nylandsted Larsen, Arne. In: Applied Physics Letters, Vol. 106, 2015.

    Computational methods for electromechanical fields in nanostructures. / Barettin, D; Madsen, Søren Peder; Lassen, B; Willatzen, M.I: Communications in Computational Physics, Vol. 11, Nr. 3, 2012, s. 797-830.