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.


© 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. 

© 2019 EPFL

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”

Module under test in Senegal © N. Wyrsch /EPFL 2019

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.

© 2019 EPFL

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.

© 2019 Swissolar

Best poster award at Swiss PV congress 2019

— The PVLAB was at the Swiss PV congress in Bern and got the best poster award!

All news


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Complete agenda of events


Mitigating the impact of distributed PV in a low-voltage grid using electricity tariffs

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

2020-12-01. DOI : 10.1016/j.epsr.2020.106763.

Degradation Mechanism and Stability Improvement of Dopant-Free ZnO/LiFx/Al Electron Nanocontacts in Silicon Heterojunction Solar Cells

W. Lin; M. Boccard 

ACS Appl. Nano Mater. 2020-11-09. DOI : 10.1021/acsanm.0c02475.

Optimization of front SiNx/ITO stacks for high-efficiency two-side contacted c-Si solar cells with co-annealed front and rear passivating contacts

F. Meyer; A. Savoy; J. J. Diaz Leon; M. Persoz; X. Niquille et al. 

Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells. 2020-09-29. Vol. 219, p. 110815. DOI : 10.1016/j.solmat.2020.110815.

A Mixed-Phase SiOx Hole Selective Junction Compatible With High Temperatures Used in Industrial Solar Cell Manufacturing

P. Wyss; J. Stuckelberger; G. Nogay; J. Horzel; Q. Jeangros et al. 

Ieee Journal Of Photovoltaics. 2020-09-01. Vol. 10, num. 5, p. 1262-1269. DOI : 10.1109/JPHOTOV.2020.3006979.

Rule-based scheduling of air conditioning using occupancy forecasting

M. Dorokhova; C. Ballif; N. Wyrsch 

Energy&AI. 2020-08-31. Vol. 2. DOI : 10.1016/j.egyai.2020.100022.

Benefits of a Diversified Energy Mix for Islanded Systems

M. Cauz; L. Bloch; C. Rod; L. Perret; C. Ballif et al. 

Frontiers in Energy Research. 2020-07-22. Vol. 8. DOI : 10.3389/fenrg.2020.00147.

Design Rules to Fully Benefit From Bifaciality in Two-Terminal Perovskite/Silicon Tandem Solar Cells

O. Dupre; A. Tuomiranta; Q. Jeangros; M. Boccard; P-J. Alet et al. 

Ieee Journal Of Photovoltaics. 2020-05-01. Vol. 10, num. 3, p. 714-721. DOI : 10.1109/JPHOTOV.2020.2973453.

Building Integrated Photovoltaics

E. Rey; C. Ballif 

Schlussveranstaltung “Nationales Forschungsprogramm Energie” , Gurten-Pavillon, Bern, Switzerland, , January 23, 2020.

Influence of local surface defects on the minority-carrier lifetime of passivating-contact solar cells (vol 116, 113901, 2020)

J. Cattin; J. Haschke; C. Ballif; M. Boccard 

Applied Physics Letters. 2020-04-13. Vol. 116, num. 15, p. 159901. DOI : 10.1063/5.0008864.

Influence of the Subcell Properties on the Fill Factor of Two-Terminal Perovskite-Silicon Tandem Solar Cells

M. Boccard; C. Ballif 

Acs Energy Letters. 2020-04-10. Vol. 5, num. 4, p. 1077-1082. DOI : 10.1021/acsenergylett.0c00156.