Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre
IMEC in short
IMEC is active in world class research on nano-electronics and nanotechnology. Imec’s research is focusing on renewable energy, improved health care, smart electronics, and safer transport. The PV activity is developing low cost, scalable and high efficiency solar cell technologies, and the key areas of attention are silicon-based and thin-film solar cells and modules. This research is using the vast know-how of IMEC on semiconductor physics, processing and analysis. The Thin-Film PV group has a track record of about 20 years. It started in the field of organic solar cells but has now its main activities based on chalcogenide and perovskite thin film solar cells.
In the case of perovskite thin film solar cells, this group has attracted a lot of attention with its fast progress in this field with single cell efficiencies of 22.3% for inverted p-i-n cells using a stable and scalable layer stack. In 2017, we obtained the world-record certified module efficiency of 12.5%, as well as in 2018, we reported world’s first 4 cm² module-on-cell perovskite/silicon stack with a power conversion efficiency of 25.3% (27.1% at cell-on-cell level), outperforming the standalone silicon solar cell. In 2020, we expanded this with 2-terminal perovskite/Si tandem results with efficiency >25%, using scalable stacks. Similarly, a perovskite/CIGS mechanically stacked tandem solar cell has been demonstrated whereby the single junction CIGS efficiency was boosted from 16.7% to a record high 24.6% tandem cell efficiency.
Main role and tasks in the project
First of all, IMEC will act as work package leader of WP6-NA3 and will also contribute to the WP4-NA1 and WP5-NA2. Furthermore, IMEC will open up its world-class large-area perovskite research infrastructure (see description below) for transnational access in WP2-TA1 and will contribute to the establishment of a perovskite database infrastructure in WP3-VA1. Finally, IMEC will also be active in the WP8-JRA2 and WP9-JRA3 activities on the improvement of the processing and characterization infrastructures.
Key Persons involved in VIPERLAB project
Dr. Aernouts received his M.Sc. in semiconductor physics from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, in 1998, and a Ph.D. in Science in 2006 from the same university. Since 2006, Dr. Aernouts is group leader of Imec’s Thin Film PV group, steering Imec’s thin film PV research activities, with a first infrastructure upgrade in 2009 enabling processing devices up to 15x15cm², and a next upgrade in 2018 to extend the device size to 35x35cm². He gained project management experience by coordinating several national and international projects in this field. He’s also author or co-author of 80+ publications and has > 5 patent filings.
Dr. Kuang received his PhD in applied physics in 2014 from Utrecht University, The Netherlands. Dr. Kuang has an interdisciplinary background in physics, chemistry, and materials science. His research interests include deposition and characterization of thin film materials particularly for solar cell applications. He is experienced in a variety of metal oxide thin films including defect passivation layer of Al2O3, electron and hole selective transport layers of e.g. SnO2, TiO2 and NiO, and transparent conducting oxides as window electrode layers of ITO, In2O3:H and ZnO:Al etc. by atomic layer deposition or by magnetron sputtering. He is currently mainly working on upscaling of perovskite based photovoltaic technology towards 30 x 30 cm2 module with stability, including both single junction and multiple junction architectures.
Dr. Aguirre graduated in physics from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, obtained a PhD in Science (2008) at the University of Antwerp, Belgium. Her research activities as PhD and postdoc always involved characterization of organic photovoltaic devices by spectroscopic techniques, EPR, and (steady state and time resolved, fast and ultrafast) optical spectroscopy. From 2012 to 2017, as R&D Manager at Abengoa Solar NT in Spain, she was responsible for the CIGS characterization lab, managing a group of people and a number of projects. In 2017 she joined the Thin Film PV group at Imec to perform activities that include module (up to 35x35cm²) laser scribing and encapsulation.
Professor Dr. Ivan Gordon obtained his PhD in February 2002 in the field of novel magnetic materials for sensor applications from the University of Leuven in Belgium. He started to work at IMEC in Belgium in June 2003, where he is currently leading the Photovoltaics and Energy System activities. He is also part-time professor in Digital Photovoltaics at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands and editor-in-chief of the Elsevier scientific journal Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells (impact factor of 7.3). Since January 2016, he is the coordinator of the joint program on Photovoltaics of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA) and a steering committee member of the European Technology and Innovation Platform Photovoltaics (ETIP-PV). He has authored and co-authored more than 250 journal and conference papers mostly in the field of Photovoltaics (>3850 citations, h-factor 32, September 2021).
Hariharsudan Sivaramakrishnan Radhakrishnan is currently a Senior Researcher in the Photovoltaics (PV) group at imec. In 2014, he obtained his PhD degree from KU Leuven, Belgium, for his research at imec on porous silicon-based gettering and epitaxial Si lift-off for solar cell applications. He received the EMRS Young Scientist Award in 2012 and the imec scientific excellence award in 2014. As a researcher, he has garnered experience in a wide range of fields from Si materials to modules and systems. He has (co-)authored >50 publications and 7 patents. He has been involved in >12 public and industry-funded cross-organizational projects over the last 10 years. Currently, he is involved in the development of industrial large-area perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells and modules, and is also responsible for shaping the strategy of this focus area.