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.


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.

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.

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. 

Christophe Ballif elected memeber of the SATW!

— Prof. Christophe Ballif is elected member of the Swiss Academy of Engineering Sciences SATW for his “strong contribution to the development of photovoltaic technologies and to their industrial valorization”

PVLAB contributes to training PV technicians in Senegal

— The PVLAB is contributing to a training program to renewable energies in Senegal. In partnership with "Centre International pour la Formation et la Recherche en Energie Solaire of the Ecole Supérieur Polytechnique (ESP) de Dakar", the lab provides advice for training electricians and technicians in the Senegal electricity sector.

All news


No scheduled events

Complete agenda of events


Dopant‐free back contacted silicon solar cells with an efficiency of 22.1%

W. Wu; W. Lin; S. Zhong; B. Paviet-Salomon; M. Despeisse et al. 

Physica Status Solidi RRL – Rapid Research Letters. 2020-01-03. DOI : 10.1002/pssr.201900688.

Solar Water Splitting with Perovskite/Silicon Tandem Cell and TiC-Supported Pt Nanocluster Electrocatalyst

J. Gao; F. Sahli; C. Liu; D. Ren; X. Guo et al. 

Joule. 2019-12-18. Vol. 3, num. 12, p. 2930-2941. DOI : 10.1016/j.joule.2019.10.002.

Optimized Design of Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells for Field Operating Conditions

J. Cattin; O. Dupré; B. Aissa; J. Haschke; C. Ballif et al. 

IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics. 2019-11-28. Vol. 9, num. 6, p. 1541-1547. DOI : 10.1109/JPHOTOV.2019.2938449.

Instability of p-i-n perovskite solar cells under reverse bias

R. Razera; D. Jacobs; F. Fu; P. Fiala; M. Dussouillez et al. 

Journal of Materials Chemistry A. 2019-11-22. DOI : 10.1039/C9TA12032G.

Mitigating Plasmonic Absorption Losses at Rear Electrodes in High‐Efficiency Silicon Solar Cells Using Dopant‐Free Contact Stacks

S. Zhong; J. Dreon; Q. Jeangros; E. Aydin; S. De Wolf et al. 

Advanced Functional Materials. 2019-11-20.  p. 1907840. DOI : 10.1002/adfm.201907840.

Advanced tariffs for grid friendly distributed PV and storage: A case study in Rolle

L. Bloch; J. Holweger; C. Ballif; N. Wyrsch 

SCCER-FURIES Annual Conference 2019, Aarau, Switzerland, Otober 21, 2019.

Impact of advanced electricity tariff structures on the optimal design, operation and profitability of a grid-connected PV system with energy storage

L. Bloch; J. Holweger; C. Ballif; N. Wyrsch 

8th DACH+ Conference on Energy Informatics, Salzburg, September 26-27, 2019.

I-2 vapor-induced degradation of formamidinium lead iodide based perovskite solar cells under heat-light soaking conditions

F. Fu; S. Pisoni; Q. Jeangros; J. Sastre-Pellicer; M. Kawecki et al. 

Energy & Environmental Science. 2019-10-01. Vol. 12, num. 10, p. 3074-3088. DOI : 10.1039/c9ee02043h.

Impact of advanced electricity tariff structures on the optimal design, operation and profitability of a grid-connected PV system with energy storage

L. Bloch; J. Holweger; C. Ballif; N. Wyrsch 

2019-09-27. 8th DACH+ Conference on Energy Informatics, Salzburg, September 26-27, 2019. DOI : 10.1186/s42162-019-0085-z.

Numerical simulations of hole carrier selective contacts in p-type c-Si solar cells

P. Procel; P. Loper; F. Crupi; C. Ballif; A. Ingenito 

Solar Energy Materials And Solar Cells. 2019-09-15. Vol. 200, p. 109937. DOI : 10.1016/j.solmat.2019.109937.