The laboratory of photovoltaics and thin-films electronics (PV-lab) of IEM, 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 EPFL

Poster awards for PVLAB and CSEM at the national PV congress

— PVLAB member Jordan Holweger got a poster award at the Swissolar national PV congress in Bern from 1 to 2 July 2021. The poster advertises a simple and effective heat pump control algorithm for PV applications. The CSEM team lead by Christophe Ballif also got a poster award for their work on back-contacted silicon heterojunction solar cells and modules.

© 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.

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Vapor deposition of metal halide perovskite thin films: Process control strategies to shape layer properties

Q. J-M. A. Guesnay; F. Sahli; C. Ballif; Q. Jeangros 

APL Materials. 2021-10-12. Vol. 9, num. 10, p. 100703. DOI : 10.1063/5.0060642.

Stability of inks used for masking metallic interconnects in BIPV modules

A. Borja Block; A. Virtuani; C. Ballif 

38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC 2021), Online, September 6-10, 2021.

Stability of inks used for masking metallic interconnects in BIPV modules

A. Borja Block; A. Virtuani; C. Ballif 

2021-09-06. 38th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC 2021), Online, September 6-10, 2021.

Performance Limitations and Analysis of Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells Using Ultra-Thin MoOx Hole-Selective Contacts

J. Dreon; J. Cattin; G. Christmann; D. Febba; V. Paratte et al. 

Ieee Journal Of Photovoltaics. 2021-09-01. Vol. 11, num. 5, p. 1158-1166. DOI : 10.1109/JPHOTOV.2021.3082400.

Toward Stable Monolithic Perovskite/Silicon Tandem Photovoltaics: A Six-Month Outdoor Performance Study in a Hot and Humid Climate

M. De Bastiani; E. Van Kerschaver; Q. Jeangros; A. U. Rehman; E. Aydin et al. 

Acs Energy Letters. 2021-08-13. Vol. 6, num. 8, p. 2944-2951. DOI : 10.1021/acsenergylett.1c01018.

Evaluation of secondary electron intensities for dopant profiling in ion implanted semiconductors: a correlative study combining SE, SIMS and ECV methods

C. N. S. Kumar; S. Tabean; A. Morisset; P. Wyss; M. Lehmann et al. 

Semiconductor Science And Technology. 2021-08-01. Vol. 36, num. 8, p. 085003. DOI : 10.1088/1361-6641/ac0854.

Quantification of hydrogen in nanostructured hydrogenated passivating contacts for silicon photovoltaics combining SIMS-APT-TEM: A multiscale correlative approach

S. Pal; J. Barrirero; M. Lehmann; Q. Jeangros; N. Valle et al. 

Applied Surface Science. 2021-07-30. Vol. 555, p. 149650. DOI : 10.1016/j.apsusc.2021.149650.

Passivating Polysilicon Recombination Junctions for Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells

F-J. Haug; A. Morisset; P. Wyss; M. Lehmann; A. Hessler-Wyser et al. 

physica status solidi (RRL) – Rapid Research Letters. 2021-07-15.  p. 2100272. DOI : 10.1002/pssr.202100272.

Influence of the Dopant Gas Precursor in P-Type Nanocrystalline Silicon Layers on the Performance of Front Junction Heterojunction Solar Cells

L. Antognini; V. Paratte; J. Haschke; J. Cattin; J. Dreon et al. 

Ieee Journal Of Photovoltaics. 2021-07-01. Vol. 11, num. 4, p. 944-956. DOI : 10.1109/JPHOTOV.2021.3074072.

Multimodal Microscale Imaging of Textured Perovskite-Silicon Tandem Solar Cells

E. M. Tennyson; K. Frohna; W. K. Drake; F. Sahli; T. C-J. Yang et al. 

Acs Energy Letters. 2021-06-11. Vol. 6, num. 6, p. 2293-2304. DOI : 10.1021/acsenergylett.1c00568.