The energy coming from the sun has the highest potential energy of all renewable resources, and it is ~35,000 times higher than today’s energy needs on a yearly basis. Semiconductor-based technologies, i.e., photovoltaic (PV) technologies, are developed to convert this energy into electrical energy. Today, the dominant market share (95%) belongs to Silicon (Si) PV technologies. However, considering the weight, rigidity, and processing restrictions of Si PV, alternative materials and technologies have been sought and developed over the years. The thin film (TF) PV technology is an outcome of these researches, and among all TF PV technologies, Cu(In, Ga)Se2 (CIGS)-based solar cells have the highest cell and module efficiencies.
However, in order to compete with well-established Si solar cell technology, CIGS-based solar cells should reduce their production costs. Reducing the thickness of the absorber layer and using a simplified deposition method of this layer can be the solution to this problem. Yet, reducing the thickness of the active layer of the solar cell, i.e. the thickness of the absorber layer, brings some drawbacks such as incomplete absorption of the light and increased interface recombination at the rear and front surface, all resulting in power conversion efficiency losses in CIGS solar cells. In order to solve this problem, the ultra-thin CIGS solar cells require an advanced solar cell structure to overcome incomplete absorption, and to reduce the recombination of both rear and front surface, by implementing a passivation layer in front and/or rear surface of the CIGS solar cells.
In this project, the candidate is expected to first decide/find a simple, cost-effective and reproducible approach for surface passivation (rear and/or front surface), and then, implement this approach to our existing solar cell structure and test its effectiveness. It is also expected from the candidate to make a simulation and compare the experimental results with simulation results.
Type of project: Internship; Thesis; Combination of internship and thesis
Duration: minimum 6 months
Required degree: Master of Engineering Technology; Master of Science; Master of Engineering Science
Required background: Chemistry/Chemical Engineering; Energy; Materials Engineering; Physics
Supervising scientists: For further information or for application, please contact Dilara Gokcen Buldu (Dilara.Gokcen.Buldu@imec.be), Gizem Birant (Gizem.Birant@imec.be) and Bart Vermang (Bart.firstname.lastname@example.org).
Imec allowance will be provided.