Clara Grcevic is a double-degree student between the Institut d’Optique Graduate School (France) and TU Delft. In 2021, after doing an internship at ASML during her gap year in which she worked on the calibration of optical aberration tests in EUV scanners, she decided to stay in the Netherlands and apply for the Msc Applied Physics in Delft. In August 2022 she started at the Optics Research Group to work on her master thesis under the supervision of Dr.Aurèle Adam and Dr. Man Xu.
In partnership with TNO, she is working on beam shaping for illumination in sun-driven chemical processes. In order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, TNO is working on the conversion of CO2 into useful products and chemicals such as methane. Usually, this reaction requires high energies activation. Plasmonic nanoparticles, which are efficient light absorbers, can be used as a catalyser in the microflow reactor. By harvesting the sun light and without external heating, the conversion can be done in a sustainable way.
However, an artificial illumination is needed to compensate for the intermittent sun conditions and achieve high efficiency. This light delivery can be done using a multimode fiber coupled to a laser that will directly target the location of the nanoparticles in the reactor. The goal is to shape the output beam of the multimode fiber into a shape that will match the one of the channels in the reactor, that is a thin line with high-aspect ratio.
To be as sustainable and efficient as possible, the least possible loss of light is desired. Therefore, the beam should precisely target these channels in which the nanoparticles are and the beam shaping device put directly at the fiber tip.