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Project partners

IREC: Fundació Institut de Recerca de l’Energia de Catalunya, Spain

General description:

IREC is a private Foundation with the participation of the Catalan regional government (Generalitat de Catalunya), the Spanish Ministries of Industry, Energy and Tourism and of Economy and Competitiveness, the Univ. of Barcelona, the Polytechnic Univ. of Catalonia, the Univ. Rovira Virgili and private companies from the energy sector. The Institute constitutes a research organization committed to carry out, promote, spread, transfer and improve research activities in the energy and environment sectors of knowledge and of their applications.

Main tasks in the project:

  • Project coordination
  • Colloidal synthesis of chalcogenide nanocrystals: development of solution based processes for the synthesis of absorbers. Application to the development of nanostructured devices based on TCO nanowire arrays (WP2, WP4).
  • Process characterisation (WP1, WP2): development of Raman scattering based processes for Quality control and process monitoring at in-situ and ex-situ levels (WP6).

Experience & competences relevant to the project:

The research group involved in this project belongs to the Area of Advanced Materials for Energy of IREC. The group has a significant activity and expertise in the study of nanostructured semiconductors, nanofunctional materials and thin film heterostructures for different applications as gas sensors and solar cells. In the field of CIGS based solar cells, the group has a strong experience in the advanced microstructural characterization and process monitoring in CIGS based PV technologies. Recently, the group has initiated a new research line on the colloidal synthesis of CIGS and CZTS nanoparticles and their application for solar cells. Technological and characterisation facilities available at IREC include Chemical and electrochemical workshops, equipments for thin film deposition and processing (sputtering, CBD, tubular furnaces…) required for the fabrication of solar cells, as well as a wide range of advanced characterisation techniques including Raman scattering, XRD, TEM, nanoscopic techniques (SNOM, AFM, STM), optical techniques (FTIR, UV-VIS spectroscopies, PL), AES, XPS, UPS, TOF-SIMS, Nanotechnology facilities for preparation of specific specimens and devices for TEM (FIB) and electrical/optoelectronic characterisation tools.

http://www.irec.cat

 

NEXCIS Innovating Photovoltaics, France

General description:

NEXCIS is a young SME that was founded as a start up involving EDF PV strategy. The company is owned by CEO (Dr. Olivier Kerrec), EDF and SIIS Luxembourg (100% of capital belonging to the CEO of EDF-EN) and is specialised in the manufacturing of CIGS solar cells and modules from electrodeposition. NEXCIS activities are at present based in the development of high efficiency low cost electrodeposited based Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2. NEXCIS road map establishes the industrial deployment of their technology within the next 3-4 years. Apart from their activities guided road map NEXCIS is committed to carry out research activities in the thin film solar cells sector of development of new materials for high energy concepts at low cost with the objective of industrial implementation always in mind.

Main tasks in the project:

  • NEXCIS will be in charge of the chairing of the Technology Task Force, looking for the industrial implementation viability of processes and materials developed.
  • Coordination of WPs devoted to electrodeposition technologies (WP1) and industrial implementation (WP7)
  • Fabrication of large scale modules and Reliability testing

Experience & competences relevant to the project:

The NEXCIS team involved in the project gathers and follows the strong experience formerly acquired at IRDEP associating EDF, CNRS and ENSCP, on the technological development of ED based processes for CIS cells. IRDEP is leader at international level on these technologies, having reported the maximum efficiencies obtained so far from devices fabricated with one-step electrodeposited CuInSe2 precursors (11.4% world record). The company is fully equipped for thin film deposition, device and module completion, optoelectronic semiconductor and device characterization, analysis and modeling.

NEXCIS is equipped with all facilities for the fabrication of electrodeposited based Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 solar devices up to a size of (30x60)cm2. Machinery at NEXCIS comprises electrolysers for research and development, RTA (Rapid Thermal Annealing) furnaces in Se and S atmosphere, CBD (Chemical Bath Deposition) facilities, sputtering machines, substrate preparation, and interconnexion. Scribing and modularization tools are also available. Optoelectronic characterization sets up either for final solar cell and semiconducting materials characterization and loss diagnosis are available. In particular a Class A solar simulator together with a Response Spectral System are available for solar cell performance measurement and loss diagnostics. Other electrical characteristics are I (V,T), Hall effect, sheet resistance and C (V,ω,T) for determination of electrical defects and DLTS capacities are also available. SPS surface technique is also available. Analytical techniques as XRD, XRF, SEM, EDX, SIMS, Raman spectroscopy are also available.

http://www.nexcis.fr/

 

EMPA: Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt, Switzerland

General description:

Empa is an interdisciplinary research and service institution for materials science and technology development within the ETH Domain. Empa's research and development activities are oriented to meeting the requirements of industry and the needs of our society, and link together applications-oriented research and the practical implementation of new ideas, science and industry, and science and society. Established more than 128 years back, Empa is committed to achieving excellence in its research activities and thereby holds an essential position in the Swiss educational, research and innovation scene. Empa employs more than 850 staff, of which 230 are female; over 450 employees are engineers and scientists with advanced degrees. “Materials for Energy Technologies” is one of the five strategic research directions at Empa.

Main tasks in the project:

  • Solution- and nanoparticle-based deposition of kesterite absorbers (WP2)
  • Preparation of front electrical contacts from nanoparticle-based TCOs (WP3)
  • Supply of reference CIGS solar cells prepared by vacuum based evaporation and sputtering techniques on glass substrates (WP1, WP2)

Experience & competences relevant to the project:

The Laboratory for Thin Films and Photovoltaics at Empa is known for excellence in the field of CIGS and CdTe thin film solar cell research on various substrate materials and the technology transfer to industry. The Empa group has more than 20 years of experience in thin film solar cells and is well equipped for R&D on CIGS solar cells, including the development of low temperature (

The current research focus is at non-vacuum deposition techniques, and alternative absorber, buffer, and front contact materials towards low cost solar cells. Specifically, the group has developed CIGS solar cells and achieved 6.7% and lately 7.7% efficiency cells with a simple solution based and non-vacuum process that does not involve toxic and hazardous chemicals. Similar strategy was applied recently to fabricate kesterite CZTSe absorbers, and encouraging efficiencies of 1% were obtained during first trials, indicating a clear potential for improvement. Alternative buffer layers ZnS or In2S3 with higher band gaps than conventional CdS (3.6 eV or 2.8 eV versus 2.4 eV) were investigated as they can increase the efficiency of kesterite cells by better utilization of the light in the near-UV range in view of the wider bandgap of CZTS as compared to CIGS. For front contacts, a resistivity of 3x10-3 Ohm cm was obtained for an Al-doped ZnO layer obtained with ultrasonic spray pyrolisis at ambient atmosphere without any post-anealing treatment, which is one of the lowest values reported for this method.

http://www.empa.ch/

 

MERCK: Merck KGaA, Germany

General description:

Merck KGaA is an international company providing speciality chemicals with a high value for customers in a variety of industries. In the Performance Materials division the strategic focus is on applications that require a high level of formulation, tailoring, purity, reliability and other critical factors to be found in high tech industry segments such as Display, Lighting as well as Photovoltaics.

Main tasks in the project:

  • Evaluation of synthetic routes for nanoparticles synthesis WP2
  • Screening and evaluation of process technology and equipment suitable for scale-up of nanoparticle synthesis including continuous manufacturing technology WP2
  • Clarification of analytical requirements and process monitoring for scale-up WP2
  • Estimation of effort / investment required for scale-up to production scale WP2
  • Set specifications and evaluate shelf life for raw materials WP2
  • Health and safety procedure investigation for products and transportation protocol establishment to meet legislative requirements WP2 and WP7
  • Laboratory work to develop synthesis processes suited to scale up WP7
  • Synthesis scale-up: Determination of the cost structure for the scale-up of material synthesis WP7.

Experience & competences relevant to the project:

The company has extremely high competence in scaling up synthesis to a mass production level, including highly complicated and regulated materials. The company has an established quality control and reliability processes and global supply chain.

http://www.merckgroup.com/
 

 

IIT: Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, Italy

General description:

The Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) in Genova (Italy) is a Research Foundation, founded in 2003, to promote scientific excellence in Italy. It consists of about 600 researchers from 39 different countries, operating in a large building equipped with state of the art laboratories distributed over several Departments, among them Nanochemistry, Nanophysics, and “Advanced Nanostructures” Departments.

Main tasks in the project:

Colloidal synthesis of CIGS nanocrystals (CuInS2, CuInSe2, and CuInxGa1-xSe2): identification of new synthetic approaches to CIGS nanocrystals and of optimal surface ligands (WP2)

Experience & competences relevant to the project:

The Nanochemistry Department at IIT has a consolidated expertise in the synthesis, characterization and assembly of colloidal nanocrystals and in their implementation in practical applications, including photovoltaics. Our strong expertise is in the development of new synthetic approaches to colloidal nanocrystals. We have a large Chemistry Lab with many synthesis hoods covering all wet chemistry approaches to nanoparticles, and state of the art characterization tools like Cs-corrected HRTEM with all in-situ spectroscopies, SEM, XRD, XPS, various ultrafast spectroscopies, electrical transport set-ups, AFM, STM, and confocal microscopes.

http://www.iit.it/

 

UNOTT: University of Nottingham, United Kingdom

(active participation until Jan 2014)

General description:

The University of Nottingham is the winner of the Times Higher Education Institution of the Year Award (2006). The Faculty of Engineering is one of the UK’s best Departments of Engineering. It has a long tradition of innovative research. The Scalenano project will be carried out at the beyond state-of-the-art Innovative Materials Processing Laboratory (IMPL) headed by Professor Choy at the Energy and Sustainable Research Division, Faculty of Engineering. The Laboratory is one of the World leading research centres in developing eco-friendly, sustainable, low cost and non vacuum thin film and coating technologies and process applications.

Main tasks in the project:

  • Alternative scalable non vacuum, low cost and eco-friendly ESAVD process of compositionally graded chalcogenides absorbers for higher efficiency approaches at small scale (WP2)
  • ESAVD of small scale CZT(S,Se) based PV technologies (WP2)
  • Synthesis of TCO by scalable non vacuum ESAVD based processes (WP3).
  • Novel cell structures based on ESAVD of nanostructured TCO (WP4).

Experience & competences relevant to the project:

UNOTT team led by Professor Choy has pioneered a novel, non vacuum, cost-effective, and eco-friendly Electrostatic Spray Assisted Vapour Deposition (ESAVD) method. This is a platform thin/thick film coating technology with well control structure and composition at nanoscale level. A range of oxides, and non oxides (including II-VI semiconducting materials, CIS) and nanocomposite coatings have been deposited using ESAVD. ESAVD has been used successfully to fabricate indium tin oxide (ITO) and fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) thin films with superior properties. Most recently, ITO films with optical transmission above 90% and sheet resistance 10 ohm per square have been successfully being deposited. Other low cost, indium based transparent conducting oxides such as antimony doped tin oxide layers have been fabricated with optical transmission above 87% and sheet resistance 8 ohm per square have been achieved.

The ESAVD has been transferred to IMPT for large area and mass production. UNOTT has a suit of innovative and cost-effective thin film and coating equipment, based on non vacuum and eco-friendly deposition methods, including Electrostatic Spray Assisted Vapor Deposition (ESAVD) and Aerosol assisted Vapour deposition (AAVD). Furthermore, it also has a suit of the state-of-the art characterisation equipment for assessment of structural and chemical composition, bonding analysis, mechanical, electrochemical, electrical, optical and surface properties of nanostructured films, and nanomaterials. These include AFM/SPM, Raman Spectroscopy, IR, FTIR, ellipsometer, scratch tester, electrical and conductive measurement equipment, PV simulator and solar test & measurement equipment, multifuntional electrochemical analyzer, etc. In addition, the team also has access to the Faculty/University Central characterisation facilities on HRTEM, XRD, SIMS, XPS, etc.

http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/

 

IMPT: Innovative Materials Processing Technologies Ltd, United Kingdom

(active participation until Oct 2013)

General description:

IMPT has expertise in the cost-effective, non-vacuum, up-scalable deposition methods based on its patented Electrostatic Spray Assisted Vapour Deposition (ESAVD) for the low temperature manufacture of nanomaterials, nanostructured oxides, II-VI based thin films. IMPT’s team has over 15 years experience in developing non vacuum ESAVD based technologies and process applications, and offers unique coating solutions and nanomaterials fabrication technologies based on ESAVD. IMPT has demonstrated the capability of using ESAVD to fabricate transparent conducting oxide films such as ITO thin films with superior properties. Most recently, ITO films with optical transmission above 90% and sheet resistance 10 ohm per square have been successfully being deposited. The process has also been applied for the fabrication of nanostructured SiOx, TiOx, ZnO thin films, sulphide and selenide based films. The process can also be adapted for the manufacture of nanoparticles embedded in different solid matrices. IMPT product portfolio includes applications development, process engineering for manufacturing, equipment design & development and coating consultancy services. IMPT has developed a global customers base covering aerospace, clean energy, electrical, and optoelectronic sectors.

Main tasks in the project:

  • Alternative scalable non vacuum, low cost and eco-friendly ESAVD process of compositionally graded chalcogenides and kesterite absorbers for higher efficiency approaches (WP2).
  • ESAVD of CZT(S,Se) based PV technologies at larger area (WP2)
  • Synthesis of TCO by scalable non vacuum ESAVD based processes (WP3).
  • Scale-up of ESAVD processes and apply from cells to modules (WP5)
  • Participate in industrial take-up activities (WP7)

Experience & competences relevant to the project:

IMPT’s unique non vacuum ESAVD based technology and it variants are well positioned to offer cost-effective manufacturing of nanomaterials and ultrathin films for efficient solar cells and will contribute to bringing the successful project into market, by providing a qualified process and tool, as well as support for customers towards production. IMPT has a proven track record of delivering successful applications development on time. In Scalenano, IMPT will be responsible for the scale-up development of specialised non vacuum deposition of chalcopyrite and kesterite absorbers, nanostructured TCO films based on ESAVD and its variants. The development will be performed under WPs 2, 3, 5 and 7.

http://www.imptl.com/
 

UL: University of Luxembourg, Laboratory of Photovoltaics, Luxembourg

General description:

The laboratory of photovoltaics (LPV) is part of the physics research unit at the University of Luxembourg. Professor Susanne Siebentritt chairs the laboratory. The laboratory aims to develop new processes and structures for thin film solar cells as well as understand the fundamental material properties of the absorber layers inside the thin film solar cells. Furthermore the laboratory aims to promote renewable energy within the Luxembourg context. The University of Luxembourg is a not for profit public body which undertakes teaching and research. Students can study for Diplomas, Masters, and Ph.D’s.

Main tasks in the project:

  • Kesterite absorber and device preparation by electrodeposition and annealing (WP1)
  • Process characterisation: development of photoelectrochemical testing for Quality control and process monitoring at on-line level (WP6)

Experience & competences relevant to the project:

The research group although only established in 2007 in Luxembourg is led by Professor Siebentritt who has more than 11 years experience with photovoltaics and Dr Dale who has 6 years experience. Dr Dale leads the electrodeposition and annealing team. Currently the team has the European record kesterite device efficiency of 6.1% [56] and has led scientific understanding in the annealing procedure. Recently Dr Dale has given an invited talk at IBM (kesterite world leaders) and Dr Redinger has given an invited talk at the IEEE photovoltaics conference. LPV has considerable experience in forming CZTS and CIGS compound semiconductors using electrodeposition and annealing, as well as from PVD and MOCVD. Structured precursors can be deposited with control of the mass transport, and electrodeposition process can be investigated using a quartz crystal microbalance. Annealing is possible in both tubular and rapid thermal annealing furnaces. Full device fabrication is possible at LPV.

The team also has a strong competence in the study of the opto-electronic properties of the absorber layers using photoelectrochemical, photoluminescence, and Hall measurements. Further characterisation equipment includes micro-photoluminescence, low temperature admittance spectroscopy, photocurrent and UV-VIS spectroscopies, and current voltage temperature measurements.

http://wwwfr.uni.lu/recherche/fstc/physics_and_material_sciences_research_unit/photovoltaics_lpv

 

CEA: Comissariat a l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives, France

General description:

The CEA (French Atomic Energy Commission; www.cea.fr) is an internationally recognized technological research organization in the domains of energy, information and health technologies and defence. LITEN (Laboratory of Innovation for New Energy Technologies and Nanomaterials) aims at developing new energy technologies, including PV and nanomaterials. LITEN is a major partner for industry with 350 research contracts signed this year. Numerous patents (138 in 2009) result from the LITEN technological research. LITEN has 700 R&D personnel (15,000 for CEA) for a turnover of 96 M€. CEA/LITEN is a specialist of thin films (photo active layer, TCO) and nano materials.

Main tasks in the project:

CEA will lead WP4 of the project thanks to its expertise in PV and NMP fields (PV material development, TCO layer, process, integration, proof of concept, simulation). Previous collaborations between LITEN and other Scalenano partners will ensure the efficiency of the consortium.

Experience & competences relevant to the project:

With more than 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters, and >30 patents, etc, the LITEN highlights his team’s experience in the field: (i) Integration of a silicon nanowire array into a photovoltaic device, MRS Symposium Proceedings (2009); (ii) Progress in scaling-up silicon heterojunction solar cells: 16% efficiency obtained on 125 PS monocrystalline silicon, 34th IEEE PV Specialist Conference, Philadelphia, 2009.

http://www.cea.fr/

 

HZB: Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, Germany

General description:

The Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) is part of the Helmholtz Association. The HZB was formed in 2009 merging the former Hahn-Meitner-Institut Berlin (HMI) and the Berliner Elektronen-speicherring Gesellschaft für Synchrotronstrahlung m.b.H. (BESSY), resulting in one of the biggest research centers in the field of energy-related materials research in Europe. Its work focuses on the relationship between the technical properties and microscopic structure of materials. Solar energy research represents one of the institute's core research areas, especially the development of new solar cell materials and concepts. The HZB has about 1.100 employees.

Main tasks in the project:

  • Process characterisation: development of electroluminescence (EL) and photoluminescence (PL) for quality control and process monitoring at ex-situ levels (WP6)
  • Microstructural, compositional and electrical characterisation of solar-cell absorbers by means of electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) and electron-beam-induced current measurements (EBIC) (WP1, WP2).

Experience & competences relevant to the project:

The analysis group at the Institute of Technology, Solar Energy Division at the HZB, has significant experience and expertise in the analysis of semiconductor materials, particularly of chalcogenide thin films and corresponding solar cells. A number of different optical and electrical techniques are applied to analyse Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 and Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 thin films and solar cells, in order to characterise the quality and optoelectronic properties of these layers. Among these are fast imaging methods such as lock-in thermography, electroluminescence and photoluminescence imaging. By use of these techniques, device analyses can be performed within seconds on large-area cells and modules, and they hence represent promising routes for fast quality control on devices produced within the present project.

Also, microstructural, compositional and electrical properties are studied by means of EBSD, EDX, and EBIC, in order to relate the local and integral textures, grain boundary types and relative frequencies as well as the local composition to the local charge-carrier collection of the solar cells. These techniques applied on identical positions of the solar cell materials under investigation can be used to investigate in detailed the individual layers and device-limiting factors of prototype devices.

http://www.helmholtz-berlin.de/

 

SEMILAB: Semilab Zrt , Hungary

General description:

Semilab is a Hungarian company. Its core business is to develop, manufacture and market metrology tools for the semiconductor and photovoltaic industries. It was established in 1990 as a spin-off from the Research Institute for Technical Physics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Today, it offers material characterization and front-end process control equipment to semiconductor companies, and is a market leader in material metrology in the crystalline silicon photovoltaic sector. Semilab also offers R&D and process control solutions for thin film photovoltaics, such as ellipsometry, photo- and electroluminescence imaging. Gross revenue of the company was over 90 milion USD in 2010.

Main Tasks in the Project:

  • Coordination of WP6 (Quality Control & Process Monitoring)
  • Process monitoring: development of PL based techniques for quality control and process monitoring (WP6)
  • Implementation of process monitoring techniques at scaled-up level (WP7)
  • Optoelectrical assessment of cells and modules (WP5).

Experience and competence relevant to the project:

Semilab is a well-established provider of photovoltaic and thin film characterization techniques. Electrical measurement methods such as minority charge carrier lifetime determination are on the market for nearly 20 years, and are continuously being developed. These developments include measurements directed at thin film photovoltaics which use special optimized components together with the industry-leading evaluation methods. On the other hand Semilab is known for its optical metrologies as well. Photoluminescence and electroluminescence measurements are being introduced together with optical vision-based techniques which are completed by suitable acquisitions of relevant know-how. Semilab is also a specialist of thin layer measurements: with the acquisition of the assets of Sopra SA in 2008 (who produced the first commercial ellipsometer in the world) and the incorporation of fully-owned subsidiary Sopralab SAS ellipsometry became a key business area. Today ellipsometry manufacturing and R&D is performed in Budapest, and Sopralab SAS in Paris serves as an R&D and applications expertise centre.

http://www.semilab.hu/

 

SUPSI: Scuola Universitaria Professionale della Svizzera Italiana, Switzerland

General description:

ISAAC (Institute for Applied Sustainability to the Built Environment) of the University of Applied Sciences of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI) covers several research areas in the field of renewable energy (photovoltaic and geothermal), rational use of building energy with particular attention to green building standards, building maintenance and refurbishment, as well as environmental studies. The PV sector of SUPSI-ISAAC has several research activities and offers services in the fields of Performance testing, Life-Time testing and Energy Rating of PV modules, and monitoring of PV systems. It also includes a centre of competence for BIPV (Building Integrated PhotoVoltaics). The institute has set-up the first centre for PV–module testing in Switzerland (accredited ISO 17025) covering the whole range of electrical, climatic and mechanical tests according to IEC– standards 61215/61646/61730.

Main tasks in the project:

  • Coordination of WP5 (Scale up processes: from cells to modules)
  • Validation of the final products/prototypes (mini-modules and large-area final prototypes ready for industrial manufacturing);
  • Indoor and outdoor Performance (Wp) Testing and Energy Rating (Wh/Wp) of prototypes;
  • Lamination, encapsulation of prototypes and testing of different encapsulant materials;
  • Durability and Life-time testing of prototypes (electrical, climatic and mechanical testing).

Experience & competences relevant to the project:

The research group involved in the Scalenano project has a significant activity and expertise in the field of Performance Testing (Wp) of PV modules. The equipment available at SUPSI consists of two large-area solar simulators, an outdoor IV–measurement set-up, and a set of filtered and un-filtered reference cells. The necessary expertise for a proper testing of most thin film PV technologies - and in particular CIGS based solar cells/modules - exists among the group. In the field of Energy Rating (i.e. monitoring of Wh/Wp of a PV device or system) the research group has long-term proven experience via several testing campaigns. For this purpose a novel energy-meter (MPPT 3000) was developed by SUPSI. This device is able to record the energy (Wh) delivered by an outdoor-mounted PV module, track Maximum Power Point (MPP) and keep the module in MPP conditions, and trace IV curves of the device at regular time intervals. Concerning Life-Time Testing of PV devices SUPSI’s PV labs are equipped with all relevant facilities to perform accelerated–aging tests according to IEC 61215/61646 (Qualification and Type Approval standards) and EN 61730 (Safety standard), including for example climatic chambers for damp-heat and thermal cycling tests, light- and UV- soaking chambers, mechanical load, hail test and glass-breakage test facilities, insulation and wet-leakage test, etc. In addition, an electroluminescence measurement set-up will soon be available.

http://www.supsi.ch/

 

FUB: Freie Universität Berlin, Germany

General description:

FUB is a leading research institution and distinguishes itself through its modern and international character. Research at the university is focused on natural and health sciences and on humanities and social sciences. FUB was one of nine German top-universities to win in the German Universities Excellence Initiative, a national competition for universities organized by the German Federal Government.

Main tasks in the project:

  • Electrochemical and hydrothermal synthesis of ZnO nanostructures: development of low temperature non-vacuum solution based processes for scalable ZnO nanostructures.
  • Application to the development of new devices based on nanostructured TCO (WP4).
  • Up-scaling of low cost ZnO nanorod arrays as an anti-reflective coatings for solar cells (WP4)

Experience & competences relevant to the project:

FUB established jointly with the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) on topics centred on solar energy technologies. The groups of Prof. Lux-Steiner in the FUB and in the HZB have succeeded in the fabrication of high internal quantum efficiency ZnO nano arrays over large area from an aqueous solution at low temperature. The consortium of Prof. Lux-Steiner is able to adjust ZnO nanorods’ shape, the distance of nanorods, their conductivity and work function without the loss of their optical and electrical quality and there is a running Ph.D thesis on Phonons management and interface properties of ZnO nanostructures for PV applications.

http://www.fu-berlin.de/

 

UCL: University College London, United Kingdom 

(active participation from Feb 2014)

 General description:

Known as 'London's Global University', University College London (UCL) employs 4,078 academic research staff in over 50 departments and institutes. UCL also has 11 associated teaching hospitals, which include Great Ormond Street Hospital, Moorfields Eye Hospital and Royal Free Hospital. UCL has almost two decades' worth of experience in the EU Framework Programmes and is currently participating in 370 Framework Programme 7 projects, with a total EU funding contribution of approximately £147 million. UCL's research income from the European Union has doubled since 2009, and because of its successful performance UCL ranks 3rd in the UK and 9th in Europe in terms of the amount of FP7 funding awarded [Source: European Commission, FP7 Grant Agreements and Participants' Database vs 7.0, released 21.06.2011]. UCL has also been heavily involved in the contribution of expert advice during the drafting of a number of Work Programmes. As such, UCL is now recognised as one of the key players in Framework Programme funding not just in the UK but in the European Union. UCL’s world-leading research in new materials and related areas span a wide range of disciplines across the institution. The UCL Centre for Materials Discovery has been established within The Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences with close collaboration with the Faculty of Engineering. The Centre would equip with advanced facilities and housed expertise in both theoretical modelling and experimental areas in order to integrate fundamental chemistry, physics, materials, engineering and biological principles across the disciplines, to create new opportunities in materials creation, discovery and exploitation for the development in clean energy, nanotechnology, engineering and biomedicine technologies. Further information can be obtained at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/centre-for-materials-discovery. The Scalenano project is being carried out at the UCL Centre for Materials Discovery headed by Professor Choy. The Centre is also one of the World leading research centres at the fore front of developing eco-friendly, sustainable, low cost and non-vacuum thin film and coating technologies and process applications.

Main tasks in the project:

  • Alternative scalable non vacuum, low cost and eco-friendly ESAVD process of compositionally graded chalcogenides absorbers for higher efficiency approaches at small scale (WP2).
  • ESAVD of small scale CZT(S,Se) based PV technologies (WP2).
  • Synthesis of TCO by scalable non vacuum ESAVD based processes (WP3).
  • Novel cell structures based on ESAVD of nanostructured TCO (WP4).
  • Dissemination and exploitation (WP8).
  • Scientific coordination (WP9).

 Experience & competences relevant to the project:

UCL team led by Professor Choy has pioneered a novel, non vacuum, cost-effective, and eco-friendly Electrostatic Spray Assisted Vapour Deposition (ESAVD) method. This is a platform thin/thick film coating technology with well control structure and composition at nanoscale level. A range of oxides, and non oxides (including II-VI semiconducting materials, CIS) and nanocomposite coatings have been deposited using ESAVD. ESAVD has been used successfully to fabricate indium tin oxide (ITO) and fluorine doped tin oxide (FTO) thin films with superior properties. Most recently, ITO films with optical transmission above 90% and sheet resistance 10 ohm per square have been successfully being deposited. Other low cost, indium based transparent conducting oxides such as antimony doped tin oxide layers have been fabricated with optical transmission above 87% and sheet resistance 8 ohm per square have been achieved. The ESAVD has been transferred to IMPT for large area deposition (157 mm x 157 mm Si wafer). Most recently, low temperature deposition (<180°C) nanostructured TCO has also been achieved by Professor Choy’s team within the Scalenano project with optical transmission >85% and low sheet resistance, 25 Ω/cm. The UCL Centre of Materials Discovery also has a suit of innovative and cost-effective thin film and coating equipment, based on non vacuum and eco-friendly deposition methods, including  Electrostatic Spray Assisted Vapor Deposition (ESAVD) and Aerosol assisted Vapour deposition (AAVD) at laboratory scale. Furthermore, UCL has a suit of the state-of-the art characterisation equipment for assessment of structural and chemical composition, bonding analysis, mechanical, electrochemical, electrical, optical and surface properties of nanostructured films, and nanomaterials. These include AFM/SPM, Raman Spectroscopy, IR, FTIR, ellipsometer, scratch tester, electrical and conductive measurement equipment, PV simulator and solar test & measurement equipment, multifuntional electrochemical analyzer, etc. In addition, the Faculty/University Central also has advanced characterisation facilities on HRTEM, XRD, SIMS, XPS, etc. as well as access to X-ray synchrotron and neutron scattering facilities at Harwell Laboratory. UCL is also involved in a lot of major national, EU and international collaborative clean and renewable energy programmes. Choy’s team, for example, has good track records of involving in EU/large projects, with strong collaborations with both academic and industrial institutions. These include nanostructured thin films and coatings (EUFP6– RESTOOL, EXCELL, FOREMOST), and low cost transparent conducting oxides for thin film Si solar cells (EU-FP7 ThinSi: FP7-Energy-2009-1-241281), and UK Industrial funding via SEAS DTA: “Flexible thin film photovoltaics”.

 http://www.ucl.ac.uk



 
 
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