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Sustainable energy and power technologies

Partner with imec to get a permanent front seat in the forthcoming energy revolution.

The world is in a race to reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses and become carbon neutral after the middle of this century. You, as a company in the energy domain, are looking to be in the front lines.

Your success will most likely depend on many factors, but developing and deploying disruptive technologies will be essential. Especially technologies that decarbonize the energy generation and use, and that store and convert green energy.  

Contact us today to see how we can help you

Power-to-Molecules: converting green energy to fuels and valuable chemicals

Imagine a world in which we have liquid fuels that are clean and sustainable, that we use as long-term storage of solar energy or to power vehicles and even airplanes.

One interesting liquid fuel is hydrogen. But today’s prevailing production process uses methane and produces CO2. So it’s not clean. By leveraging nanotechnology, imec is developing an alternative production process: a lower-cost electrolytic process that uses water and green electricity and produces no CO2.

The first such systems will be plugged into the electricity grid and use liquid water. But we’re also working towards photovoltaic systems that can generate hydrogen from ambient moisture.

One step further: the excess CO2 that we capture from the air or from industrial processes could be a valuable source to synthesize many industrial chemicals. Imec’s concept is to use a combination of solar energy and nanotechnology to arrive at a low-cost process that produces valuable chemicals from CO2 and water. These chemicals can be fuels such as hydrogen, methanol or ethanol, but also compounds like ethylene or syngas that can be used as basic components for the chemical industry, to make polymers for instance.

Together with VITO and industrial pioneers Bekaert, Colruyt Group, DEME and John Cockerill,  imec has set up the Hyve consortium with the ambitious goal to sustainably and cost-efficiently produce hydrogen at gigawatt level.

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Power electronics: efficient and compact conversion of electricity

Gallium nitride (GaN) is today’s top material for fabricating power electronics devices and circuits. GaN allows for smaller, faster, more reliable devices with higher efficiencies than their silicon-based cousins.

Target applications include high-voltage power switching and power conversion, RF power amplifying and sensing, battery chargers for mobile phones and electric cars, and invertors for solar panel connections to the grid, to name but a few.

As a pioneer in the field, imec has developed, amongst others, 200mm/8-inch GaN-on-Si epitaxy, e-mode device technology, GaN-on-Si Schottky diode technology, and integration into GaN-ICs.

We can help you with dedicated development, IP and technology licensing, or design, prototyping, and small volume production of 200V and 650V (e-mode) power devices on our state-of-the-art 200mm GaN-on-Si technology platform.

Read more about imec’s power electronics offering

Generating solar energy

Solar energy has become the cheapest way to generate electricity. Still, there is a huge untapped potential for improving the performance at a reduced cost and for further developing this exciting market with innovative products.

To set companies on a fast track, imec’s R&D is geared towards industrially applicable solutions, which sets us apart from many other R&D centers and academia. Moreover, our results are obtained and tested on the latest industrial equipment. They are regularly transferred to partners’ production lines such as yours.

Window-integrated thin-film PV

Window-integrated thin-film PV, with CIGS modules and different-colored perovskite minimodules.

Some of our key research highlights include:

We closely collaborate with our R&D partners in EnergyVille, forming a leading energy R&D collaboration. Together we have invaluable IP, decades of experience, industry-geared R&D, the largest industry network in electronics, and a systemic vision. We are ready to assist you and help create a more sustainable future in energy.  

Develop your advanced sustainable energy technology and system with imec

Designing disruptive energy solutions, improving existing ones, and integrating them in the world’s energy networks requires vision and deep expertise. Choosing imec as your preferred R&D partner means that you get access to a network of experts, proven technology, disruptive concepts, valuable IP, partnerships, and prototyping and testing facilities.

Want to partner with us to help decarbonize the world and develop the energy systems of the future? Here are a few of the many possibilities:

  • Agree with us on a bilateral collaboration on converting energy to molecules.
  • Join our multi-partner Power-to-Molecules R&D consortium Hyve and benefit from this R&D initiative that brings together the entire ecosystem.
  • Set up a tech transfer agreement to implement manufacturing processes developed at imec.
  • Use our assistance for GaN IC prototyping, low-volume manufacturing and transfer to high-volume production.

Contact our experts

To offer the best R&D and solutions on the technological and system level, imec is a partner in EnergyVille, an association of the Flemish research centers KU Leuven, VITO, imec and UHasselt in the field of sustainable energy and intelligent energy systems). In addition, we are a cornerstone of Solliance, a partnership of R&D organizations from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany working in thin-film photovoltaic solar energy.