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.


© 2023 EPFL

Paper alert: Overview of key results of H2020 HighLite project

— Overview of key results achieved in H2020 HighLite project helping to raise the EU PV industries' competitiveness

© 2022 EPFL

Paper Alert: Daniel's big study on lateral ion migration

— Daniel's big study on lateral ion migration is finally out. Huge effort and very important results for all kinds of perovskite-containing optoelectronic devices. 

© 2022 EPFL

Solar is good but wind is also necessary !

— Winner of the Becquerel prize in 2016, Christophe Ballif has devoted a large part of his career to photovoltaic energy. Be careful, he warns, Switzerland must also bet on the wind.

© 2022 - WCPEC-8

Best Poster Award at WCPEC-8 in Milano

— Dr. Fabiana Lisco got the Best Poster Award at WCPEC-8 in Milano for her poster named “BIPV demo-site with novel glass-free colored lightweight modules”. Big congratulations to her and all the contributors. 

© 2022, https://www.becquerel-prize.org

Becquerel Prize 2022 winner Prof. Marko Topič

— Congratulations to Prof. Marko Topič, who receives recognition for his outstanding contributions to the field of Photovoltaics and with whom EPLF-PVLab has been working together on multiple projects.

© 2022 Deniz Türkay

Two new world records on perovskite/silicon tandem solar cells

— For the first time, an efficiency of 30% for perovskite-on-silicon-tandem solar cells has been exceeded thanks to a joint effort led by scientists at EPFL’s Photovoltaics and Thin Film Electronics Laboratory in partnership with the renowned innovation center, CSEM. Independently certified by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in the United States, these results are a boost to high-efficiency photovoltaics (PV) and pave the way toward even more competitive solar electricity generation. 

© 2022 EPFL

SOPHIA Workshop and PV Recycling Workshop

— SOPHIA Workshop and Workshop of the project ReSi-Norm – Standardization of Recycling Processes for Silicon Solar Modules

© 2022 Mise au point - RTS

Discover the video and interview of Christophe Ballif

— RTS Mise au point – EPFL and CSEM on Instagram and Facebook: Advanced PV research and relationship to Europe

EPFL scientists in Neuchâtel have developed a tandem solar cell that can deliver a certified efficiency of 29.2%. © Christian Wolff / EPFL

Improving the efficiency of tandem solar cells

— EPFL scientists in Neuchâtel have developed a tandem solar cell that can deliver a certified efficiency of 29.2%. This achievement was made possible by combining a perovskite solar cell with a textured silicon solar cell.

© 2022 Nature Review Materials

A comprehensive review just published in Nature Review Materials

— A comprehensive review just published in Nature Review Materials: all you want to know about crystalline silicon, past, present and future.

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Long-term performance and reliability of silicon heterojunction solar modules

O. Arriaga; A. Virtuani; C. Ballif 

Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications. 2023-03-02.  p. 1-14. DOI : 10.1002/pip.3688.

ETFE and its Role in the Fabrication of Lightweight c-Si Solar Modules

F. Lisco; F. Bukhari; L. O. Jones; A. M. Law; J. M. Walls et al. 

Ieee Journal Of Photovoltaics. 2023-02-27. DOI : 10.1109/JPHOTOV.2023.3242212.

A comprehensive analysis of electron emission from a-Si:H/Al2O3 at low energies

J. Loffler; M. Belhaj; N. Bundaleski; J. J. D. Leon; J. Thomet et al. 

Journal Of Physics D-Applied Physics. 2023-02-09. Vol. 56, num. 6, p. 065306. DOI : 10.1088/1361-6463/acaf37.

Amorphous Silicon Based Microchannel Plates for Time-of-Flight Positron Emission Tomography

S. A. Frey / C. Ballif; N. Würsch (Dir.)  

Lausanne, EPFL, 2023. 

22.8% full-area bifacial n-PERT solar cells with rear side sputtered poly-Si (n) passivating contact

A. Ingenito; C. Alleb; S. Libraro; C. Ballif; B. Paviet-Salomon et al. 

Solar Energy Materials And Solar Cells. 2023-01-01. Vol. 249, p. 112043. DOI : 10.1016/j.solmat.2022.112043.

Microwave plasma-assisted reactive HiPIMS of InN films: Plasma environment and material characterisation

C. Hain; P. Schweizer; P. Sturm; A. Borzi; J. E. Thomet et al. 

Surface & Coatings Technology. 2022-12-27. Vol. 454, p. 129188. DOI : 10.1016/j.surfcoat.2022.129188.

Bandgap engineering of indium gallium nitride layers grown by plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition

J. E. Thomet; A. K. Singh; M. N. Roueche; N. Toggwyler; F-J. Haug et al. 

Journal Of Vacuum Science & Technology A. 2022-12-01. Vol. 40, num. 6, p. 063102. DOI : 10.1116/6.0002039.

Corrosion testing of solar cells: Wear-out degradation behavior

A. Fairbrother; L. Gnocchi; C. Ballif; A. Virtuani 

Solar Energy Materials And Solar Cells. 2022-12-01. Vol. 248, p. 111974. DOI : 10.1016/j.solmat.2022.111974.

Integration of thin n-type nc-Si:H layers in the window-multilayer stack of heterojunction solar cells

L. Antognini; C. Sthioul; J. Dreon; V. Paratte; D. Tuerkay et al. 

Solar Energy Materials And Solar Cells. 2022-12-01. Vol. 248, p. 111975. DOI : 10.1016/j.solmat.2022.111975.

Ultrathin ALD Aluminum Oxide Thin Films Suppress the Thermal Shrinkage of Battery Separator Membranes

L. P. da Veiga; C. Jeanguenat; F. Lisco; H-Y. Li; S. Nicolay et al. 

Acs Omega. 2022-11-30. DOI : 10.1021/acsomega.2c06318.