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.


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.

PVlab member Marina Dorokhova at the 3rd World Smart Energy Summit

— Ph.D. Student Marina Dorokhova was presenting the FEEdBACk project at the World Smart Energy Summit 2019 in Moscow.

All news


European PV Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition

2019-09-09 2019-09-13

With: Peter Fiala
Category: Conferences - Seminars

Advanced Building Skins 2019 (Bern)

2019-10-28 2019-10-29

With: Laure-Emmanuelle Peret
Category: Conferences - Seminars

Complete agenda of events


Annealing of Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells: Interplay of Solar Cell and Indium Tin Oxide Properties

J. Haschke; R. Lemerle; B. Aissa; A. A. Abdallah; M. M. Kivambe et al. 

IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics. 2019-07-24. Vol. [Early Access], p. 1-6. DOI : 10.1109/JPHOTOV.2019.2924389.

Record-Efficiency n-Type and High-Efficiency p-Type Monolike Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells with a High-Temperature Gettering Process

M. M. Kivambe; J. Haschke; J. Horzel; B. Aïssa; A. A. Abdallah et al. 

ACS Applied Energy Materials. 2019-06-20. DOI : 10.1021/acsaem.9b00608.

Low Temperature p-type Microcrystalline Silicon as Carrier Selective Contact for Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells

A. N. Fioretti; M. Boccard; R. Monnard; C. Ballif 

IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics. 2019-06-11.  p. 1-8. DOI : 10.1109/JPHOTOV.2019.2917550.

Exploring co-sputtering of ZnO:Al and SiO2 for efficient electron-selective contacts on silicon solar cells

S. Zhong; M. Morales-Masis; M. Mews; L. Korte; Q. Jeangros et al. 

Solar Energy Materials And Solar Cells. 2019-06-01. Vol. 194, p. 67-73. DOI : 10.1016/j.solmat.2019.02.005.

Low-Temperature Screen-Printed Metallization for the Scale-Up of Two-Terminal Perovskite-Silicon Tandems

B. A. Kamino; B. Paviet-Salomon; S-J. Moon; N. Badel; J. Levrat et al. 

Acs Applied Energy Materials. 2019-05-01. Vol. 2, num. 5, p. 3815-3821. DOI : 10.1021/acsaem.9b00502.

Optimised Heat Pump Management for Increasing Photovoltaic Penetration into the Electricity Grid

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

Energies. 2019-04-25. Vol. 12, num. 8, p. 1571. DOI : 10.3390/en12081571.

35 years of photovoltaics: Analysis of the TISO-10-kW solar plant, lessons learnt in safety and performance-Part 1

A. Virtuani; M. Caccivio; E. Annigoni; G. Friesen; D. Chianese et al. 

Progress In Photovoltaics. 2019-04-01. Vol. 27, num. 4, p. 328-339. DOI : 10.1002/pip.3104.

Phosphorous-Doped Silicon Carbide as Front-Side Full-Area Passivating Contact for Double-Side Contacted c-Si Solar Cells

A. Ingenito; G. Nogay; J. Stuckelberger; P. Wyss; L. Gnocchi et al. 

Ieee Journal Of Photovoltaics. 2019-03-01. Vol. 9, num. 2, p. 346-354. DOI : 10.1109/JPHOTOV.2018.2886234.

Analysis of hydrogen distribution and migration in fired passivating contacts (FPC)

M. Lehmann; N. Valle; J. Horzel; A. Pshenova; P. Wyss et al. 

Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells. 2019. Vol. 200, p. 110018. DOI : 10.1016/j.solmat.2019.110018.

Injection-dependent lateral resistance in front-junction solar cells with nc-Si:H and a-Si:H hole selective contact

J. Haschke; C. Messmer; J. Cattin; M. Bivour; M. Boccard et al. 

2019. 46th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference (PVSC 46), Chicago, Illinois, USA, June 16-21, 2019.