The project includes collaborations between research institutes, universities and companies representing different business sectors, from electric utility and solar cell production to equipment suppliers and material manufacturing. The consortium in the project consists of Uppsala University as coordinator and 12 beneficiaries, where Research and Development (R&D), Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and Industry are represented.
As detailed in the implementation part, several of the partners in the project have on-going collaborations on several of the aspects of this application and the project therefore has very good opportunities for a head start. Key competences regarding equipment for up-scaling of the patterning and deposition techniques have been identified and are also partners of the consortium.
Uppsala University, Sweden
Uppsala University (UU), founded in 1477, is a full university covering a wide range of research aspects from Humanitarian and Social Sciences to Medicine, Nature Sciences and Technology. For ten years, Energy Research has been rated as a strategic research area and there are several world-leading activities within Energy, such as battery research, wind and wave power, artificial photosynthesis and photovoltaics. In addition to the strong energy research, Uppsala University also has good support for innovation through its holding company, Uppsala Innovation and also through membership in the European Institute of Technology, EIT KIC InnoEnergy.
Imec is active in world class research on nano-electronics and nanotechnology. The research centre counts more than 2300 people, including almost 700 industrial residents and visiting scientists. Imec’s research is focusing on renewable energy, safer transport, improved health care and smart electronics. The PV activity is developing low cost, scalable and high efficiency solar cell technologies. This research is using the vast know-how of imec on semiconductor physics, processing and analysis. In this project, imec will use its experience and facilities in the growth and the physical/electrical characterisation of CIGS and CZTS-based solar cells, together with its experience and facilities in (i) surface passivation of state-of-the-art PERC and PERT Si solar cells, and (ii) nanostructuring of materials for enhanced light confinement in ultra-thin Si solar cells.
Centre National de la Research Scientifique, France
The Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) (National Centre for Scientific Research) is a government-funded research organisation under the administrative authority of France’s Ministry of Research. CNRS is the main fundamental research organisation in Europe and is largely involved in national, European, and international projects covering all fields of knowledge. CNRS is organised in different types of laboratories in partnership with universities, other research organisations or industry, corresponding to joint research units. Interdisciplinary programs and actions offer a gateway into new domains of scientific investigation and enable CNRS to address the needs of society and industry. The present project will be managed under the responsibility of the Ile-de-France Ouest & Nord Delegation of CNRS, which is fully experienced in this field with dedicated staff in legal, financial and administrative issues and it will be present in the project via 3 of its laboratories: IRDEP and LPN.
The Institute for Research and Development of Photovoltaic Energy (IRDEP UMR 7174) is a joint research unit between Electricité de France (EDF), the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the Engineering School Chimie-ParisTech and has been created in 2005. Its originality lies in the synergies created between its academic and industrial components to promote innovative developments in the field of photovoltaics, from fundamental breakthroughs to proof of concept devices. Its strong link to chemistry is rather unique in the field. The aim of IRDEP is to contribute the emergence of solar electricity from photovoltaics as a major contribution in the energy mix within the next years, as an immediate response to the energy and climate concerns. Three main lines are considered, the reduction of production costs of PV modules, the increase of the conversion efficiencies and the development of large scale deposition processes. IRDEP approach is thus focused on thin film chalcogenides technologies (2nd generation PV) and high efficiency concepts (3rd generation
PV). IRDEP is about 50 research staff from CNRS, EDF and Chimie-ParisTech, PhD students, post docs, visiting Scientists and trainees. It has a leading position in France, and at the international levels. Since 2012 IRDEP is a part of Institut Photovoltaïque Iles de France (IPVF).
The "Laboratoire de Photonique et de Nanostructures" (LPN) is a fully-owned unit of the "Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique" (CNRS) located in the south of Paris. LPN is one of the 6 large technological facilities of the French national nanofabrication network "Renatech". LPN carries out its research activities within the general context of nanoscience, at the cross-roads of quantum optics and electronics, of physics, chemistry and biology, of materials science and device physics. LPN develops the new technologies and the concepts that will initiate innovation both in basic and in applied science. The scientific staff of LPN is composed of about 51 research scientists, 41 technical engineers and 60 non-permanent researchers (post-docs and PhD students). Since 2012 LPN is a part of Institut Photovoltaïque Iles de France (IPVF).
Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium
Université catholique de Louvain (UCL), founded in 1425, is mainly located in Louvain-la-Neuve (Belgium). The structure and method of operation of the University are classified into three sectors. These sectors correspond to three main areas of knowledge: humanities and social sciences, medical sciences, and science and technology. Each sector is divided into institutes (research) and faculties (education) that are managed in a differentiated, but coordinated way.They are assisted by technological platforms and logistic and administrative support units. The science and technology sector of UCL hosts the Information and Communication Technologies, Electronics and Applied Mathematics (ICTEAM) institute. The Institute is currently home for more than 40 professors and more than 200 researchers. These researchers carry out both basic and applied research in key fields of information and communication technologies, electronics, computer science, and applied mathematics. The electrical engineering department (ELEN) of ICTEAM hosts the UTOPIC by utilizing the existing facilities available at Wallonia Electronics and Communication Measurements (WELCOME)and Wallonia Infrastructure Nano FABrication (WINFAB) technological platforms.
International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory , Portugal
The INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory - is an international research organization created to foster interdisciplinary research in Nanotechnology and Nanoscience. INL provides a high-tech research environment addressing major challenges in nanomedicine,nanotechnology applied to environmental & food control nanoelectronics, and nanomachines and molecular manipulation at nanoscale. The core facility of INL is a class 100 micr-o and nano-fabrication clean room of ~700m2, providing a large variety of semi-industrial processes for lithography, material deposition, and etching, capable of being easily transferred to the industry or of prototyping large-area devices.
Midsummer AB, Sweden
Midsummer AB, founded in 2004, is a privately owned limited company in the business of manufacturing and selling production equipment for thin film photovoltaics. Midsummer provides complete solutions for manufacturing of high efficiency lightweight and flexible CIGS thin film solar cells and modules. The turn-key manufacturing line supplied by Midsummer comes with a proven CIGS process. Midsummer has an extensive R&D operation, devoted to further development of our CIGS thin film technology and is also active in developing CZTSbased thin film solar cells.
TNO (Nederlandse Organisatie voor toegepast-natuurwetenschappelijk Onderzoek TNO) is one of the major contract research organisations in Europe. With a staff of approximately 3000 and an annual turnover of 580 million Euros, TNO is carrying out research in order to achieve impact on the following seven themes: Healthy Living, Industrial Innovation, Transport and Mobility, Energy, Built Environment, Information Society, and Defence, Safety and Security. TNO functions as an intermediary between basic research organisations and industry. By translating scientific knowledge into practical applications, TNO contributes to the innovation capacity of businesses and government. TNO is involved in many international projects (about 30% of the market turnover), including EU-funded collaborations.
In the theme of Industrial Innovation applied research is carried out for a wide range of industrial branches. The expertise covers the whole process from basic (material) research, design and engineering to manufacturing and testing of products and systems. The focus is on innovation in the areas of high-tech systems and materials, manufacturing, the sustainable chemical industry and space applications.
Solibro Research AB, Sweden
Solibro Research AB, Uppsala, Sweden, is the R&D organization of Solibro which has its production in Thalheim, Germany. Up to date the cumulative production of commercial CIGS thin film PV modules amounts to 230 MWP, which makes Solibro the second largest CIGS company worldwide. Solibro Research AB employs 30 engineers and technicians. The company focuses on development of a product scale (0.75 m2) technology for CIGS modules, including design, processes and equipment. Solibro Research has a facility for making full-scale complete module prototypes as well as equipment for lab-scale work. In a later stage the verified production technologies are rolled out in solar cell plants in Germany and China.
University of Ljubljana (UL), Slovenia
UL main tasks in the project will be related to optical and electrical modelling and simulation of the solar cell structures within a feedback loop with sample preparation (provided by other partners) and optical and electrical characterisation. Rigorous approaches (FEM, RCWA) in combination with thin-film optics and geometrical optics will be applied to analyse and optimise light incoupling nanostructures, select materials and thicknesses of the layers, determine most promising wavelength-selective intermediate reflectors between the top and the bottom cell and establish efficient light trapping strategies for high optical absorption in the top and the bottom cell. Detailed electrical simulations of the devices will be performed using 1-D and 2-D numerical simulator ASPIN for the selective back contact schemes.
Obducat Technologies AB, Sweden
Obducat Technologies AB is an SME based in Lund, Sweden, with a history in the micro- and nanotechnology field since 1989. Obducat is the first company that commercialized Nano Imprint Lithography (NIL) and Electron Beam Recorder (EBR). Today Obducat is a market leader in NIL technology with more than 130 installations of NIL systems worldwide. Obducat’s NIL systems are equipped with a full area imprint capability, using the patented Soft Press® technology, which has proven to enable replication of nanostructures down to 20 nm, with very thin and uniform residual layers on a variety of different substrates such as silicon, sapphire, GaN and flexible substrates. Obducat’s NIL technology enables both thermal NIL and UV-NIL as well as the unique and patented Simultaneous Thermal and UV (STU®) NIL process. In addition, Obducat has developed and patented the Intermediate Polymer Stamp (IPS®) technology, where a master stamp is replicated onto a soft polymer, which is then used to make the final imprint on a target substrate. This technology enables a high yield level and a significantly longer master stamp lifetime compared to the direct imprint.
Electricité de France (EDF), France
Electricité de France (EDF) was set up in 1946 out of the desire to have a national electrical utility that could help rebuild the country after the Second World War. Since its creation, the company has had the responsibility for generating, transmitting and distributing electricity in France. Today, the company is internationalising its activities, with the following figures for commercial activities. The aim of the EDF’s R&D Division is to keep electricity costs competitive, prepare the generating facilities of the future, enhance the quality of supply while preserving the environment, as well as to develop innovative solutions with the customer in mind. The variety of these objectives has led EDF to set up a strong R&D function, including multidisciplinary knowledge, and with a balance between basic research and industrial applications. In 2005, EDF in association with CNRS and ENSCP created the Institute Research and Development on Photovoltaic Energy (IRDEP). The speciality of IRDEP is the elaboration of thin film solar cells, especially CIGSe solar cells, and third generation high efficiency PV concepts.
Advanced Coatings & Construction Solutions scrl (AC&CS),
Advanced Coatings & Construction Solutions scrl (AC&CS) is a private research and development centre that has decades experience in metal sheet coating using wet and dry (vacuum) technologies. In particular, several research topics related to energy applications, such as light reflectors, solar thermal absorbers, fuel cells, heat shields or (organic) light emitting
diodes, have been led over the past 15 years by the Surface Functionalization department. AC&CS owns an impressive facility centre and several lab and pre-industrial roll-to-roll pilot lines as well as an unparalleled expertise in product / process industrial development in the field of metallurgy and metal science in general. The core business of the research centre is to scaleup technologies and turn innovation into value creation.
ArcelorMittal is the largest steel producer in the world. Around 1000 people work in R&D worldwide in ArcelorMittal laboratories, offering a broad expertise in most technical fields related to the steel industry. The company holds leadership positions in its main markets: automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging as well as general industry. ArcelorMittal employs 280,000 people in over 60 countries. The company places its commitment to sustainable development at the heart of its strategy and ambitions to be a benchmark for economic performance, labour relations and social responsibility. A Sustainability research group pursues R&D in this area, in connection with climate change research, with LCA methodology development relative to materials, steel, steel-containing products and more.