The Photovoltaics-Laboratory (PV-Lab) of IMT, founded in 1984 by Prof. Arvind Shah and headed by Prof. Christophe Ballif since 2004, has pioneered several new processes for the preparation of thin-film silicon, such as the introduction of very high frequency (VHF) plasma deposition and microcrystalline silicon as an efficient photovoltaic material, and simple processing of heterojunction crystalline cells. Current activities of the laboratory cover a broad spectrum, ranging from fundamental research to industrial technology transfer. The lab masters processes of device fabrication for a wide variety of transparent conductive oxides, thin-film solar cells and high-efficiency crystalline silicon solar cells. It also has expertise for specialty detectors. It has full facilities for packaging of PV products. It has been designated as a center of national importance by the Swiss Federal Office for Energy.

PV-lab is a founding partner of the CSEM PV-center, which started operation in 2013 with a focus on technology transfer, and industrialisation of technologies.


© 2021 Springer, illustration from Michael Meier on p. vi

NEW Book on Solar Cells and Modules.

— NEW Book on Solar Cells and Modules edited by Arvind Shah, the funder of the PV-LAB with contribution of Christophe Ballif and Alessandro Virtuani. 

© 2020 EPFL

ECOplay: the mobile application that helps you save energy

— ECOplay, the mobile application that helps you save energy, is available for free download – for iOS and Android smartphones. The application aims to help people change certain small daily energy habits that can make a difference from a financial and environmental perspective. The ECOplay was developed in the framework of the European project FEEdBACk, where the Photovoltaics Laboratory (PV-LAB) at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) has led the development of the energy monitoring, forecasting, and optimization algorithms embedded in the app.

© 2020 Elsevier

Two new papers on “high temperature passivating contacts”

— PV-lab realized two new paper on passivating contacts. Frank Meyer and his co-author show a new selective layer with low temperature process while Philippe Wyss and co-author show a p-type rear selective contact layer that is compatible that doesn't degrade during high temperature process.

© 2020 artaventure

An idea for Christmas: Check out "DANS LA TRACE DES OURS BLANCS"

— Do you need an idea for a Christmas present? Check out the incredibly beautiful book "Dans La Trace Des Ours Blancs". This piece of art contains contributions of many swiss scientists and one of Christophe Ballif on the role of solar energy!

© 2020 snsf

A SNSF bridge project to unlock the path toward 30% cell efficiency

— EPFL, CSEM and EMPA join their force to target 28-30% of efficiency at the industrial scale by using perovskite on silicon solar cells. 

© 2020 EPFL

Frank Meyer get a poster price at the 18th national pv congress

— PVlab member Frank Meyer get the second price in the best scientific poster competition at the 18th national PV congress. His poster advertized last innovation in the field of passivating contacts. 

© 2020 EPFL

Insights on PV module reliabilty 27.05.2020

— The PVlab is hosting a free webminar on PV module reliability on 27th of May 2020. Feel free to join!

© 2019 Energy informatics

Best paper award at the 2019 conference on energy informatics

— Lionel Bloch and Jordan Holweger were in Salzburg for the conference on energy informatics 2019. Their paper was elected as the best paper among the 57 accepted papers.

Deux personnes effectuant des tests sur des cellules solaires© 2019 EPFL

EPFL's researchers open research center to test solar panels in Dakar

— EPFL's scientists recently inaugurated a new research center in Senegal to test solar panels and their underlying components. Founded in conjunction with École Supérieure Polytechnique de Dakar, the center will help solar-panel operators assess the quality of parts they source locally. It will also provide specialized training and host PhD students performing thesis work.

© 2019 SiliconPV

Three best paper awards in a row at the SiliconPV 2019!

— Neuchâtel PV research teams win three awards at the Silicon PV conference. Ph.D. student and PVLAB member Mario Lehmann awarded for his excellent work on hydrogen distribution in fired passivating contacts. 

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Complete agenda of events


FEEdBACk: An ICT-Based Platform to Increase Energy Efficiency through Buildings’ Consumer Engagement

F. Soares; A. Madureira; A. Pagès; A. Barbosa; A. Coelho et al. 

Energies. 2021-03-10. Vol. 14, num. 6, p. 1524. DOI : 10.3390/en14061524.

Editorial to the proceedings of the 10th international conference on crystalline silicon photovoltaics

P. Verlinden; S. Glunz; S. Dubois; J. Poortmans; A. Weeber et al. 

Solar Energy Materials And Solar Cells. 2021-03-01. Vol. 221, p. 110887. DOI : 10.1016/j.solmat.2020.110887.

A recalculation of the efficiency limit in crystalline Si/Si tandem solar cells

F-J. Haug; C. Ballif 

Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells. 2021-02-20. Vol. 224, p. 111008. DOI : 10.1016/j.solmat.2021.111008.

Palliating the efficiency loss due to shunting in perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells through modifying the resistive properties of the recombination junction

C. Blaga; G. Christmann; M. Boccard; C. Ballif; S. Nicolay et al. 

Sustainable Energy & Fuels. 2021-02-18. DOI : 10.1039/D1SE00030F.

Cost and benefit allocation in a energy community

A. Nacer 


Calibration of electricity tariff for grid operator revenue conservation regardless of PV penetration

J. Brun 


Optimal DSO grid control for energy communities with high PV penetration and electrochemical storage

J. Dutoit 


Smart charging of electric vehicles under uncertainty

Y. Martinson 


Vapor Transport Deposition of Methylammonium Iodide for Perovskite Solar Cells

F. Sahli; N. Miaz; N. Salsi; C. Bucher; A. Schafflützel et al. 

ACS Applied Energy Materials. 2021. DOI : 10.1021/acsaem.0c02999.

Towards Single Photon Detection with Amorphous Silicon Based Microchannel Plates

J. C. I. Löffler / C. Ballif; N. Würsch (Dir.)  

Lausanne, EPFL, 2021.