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SUCCESS - Sequential, high Uniformity, Cost Competitive Elemental Selenization and Sulphurization for CIGSSe2

Thin-film photovoltaic CIGS technology has seen considerable growth of manufacturing capacity in recent years. The environmental impact, especially the CO2 footprint of CIGS thin-film panels shows great advantages compared to other solar technologies. CIGS panels show good performance in diffuse light conditions and at high temperatures, and are tolerant to partial shading. Additionally, the aesthetic qualities and the possibility of custom colors makes CIGS a superior PV technology for the application in building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), e.g. in solar façades.The fabrication process of the CIGS semiconductor layer is the key driver for both, the further increase of efficiency, and the reduction of manufacturing cost of CIGS solar modules. Based on the European energy research program SOLAR-ERA.NET, the solar companies Smit Thermal Solutions and AVANCIS started a European collaboration with the leading research institutes Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB), CNRS (Institut des Matériaux Jean Rouxel, Nantes) and TNO/Solliance with the new project ‘Sequential, High Uniformity, Cost Competitive Elemental Selenization and Sulfurization for CIGSSe2’, called SUCCESS. The aim of SUCCESS is the combination of a further cost-optimized CIGS processing and the high efficiencies reached with heavy alkali post-deposition treatment (PDT). An efficiency of more than 20% is finally targeted for 30x30cm2 AVANCIS’ modules.The non-vacuum Smit Thermal Solutions in-line selenization equipment provides a high degree of freedom in the CIGS semiconductor fabrication enabling further cost reduction at high efficiency levels. Using Smit Thermal Solutions prototype equipment, notable efficiencies have already been reached by TNO/Solliance and HZB at cell level. As first steps in scaling-up, the homogeneity of the selenization process in the Smit Thermal Solutions equipment will be improved and it will be adapted for the 30x30cm2 AVANCIS R&D platform.During the last three years, the conversion efficiency of CIGS record cells has been increased from 20.5% to 23.35% by using controlled PDT of the absorber layer with heavy alkali metals. Typically, these records are achieved with small cells measuring 1x1cm². The consortium aims to systematically investigate the impact of the heavy alkali doping in the absorber formation process as well as by PDT of the absorber and to ultimately apply this technology to large-area module production processes with a Cd-free buffer process.


Related IP activities: Manufacturing technologies

Addressed IP targets: Major advances in efficiency of established technologies (Crystalline Silicon and Thin Films) and new concepts

Funding Scheme: ERA.NET

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 2099251

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CEFRABID - Clean energy from road acoustic barriers infrastructure development

The CEFRABID Project Proposal concentrates on advanced photovoltaic (PV) products applications in road and rail (r&r) transport infrastructure. It is focused on PV grid integrated with noise barriers and passenger stop shelters along local r&r infrastructure for needs of powering this infrastructure, e.g. for signaling, lighting of neuralgic sections of roads and rail platforms, including r&r crossings, and last but not least, warming or cooling the passenger stop shelters of special innovatory design. The focus is on innovative manufacturing of and solutions for r&r infrastructure constructions integrated PV systems. The following issues are addressed and goals pursued:
− Dimensional and outlook flexibility with customised sizes, shapes and colours, freeform module technology, and bifacial (especially for N-S oriented r&r) solar cells and modules, electrical design for energy output optimization (shadows, various tilt and orientation angles, safety issues, all of which will be part of extended preliminary tests at specialized Partner's facilities of their different configurations, including both laboratory tests, as well as outdoor tests on partially movable platforms (PMPs).
− Holistic approach for the energy performance, enabling accumulation of energy for night or worsening weather conditions periods, assuming also backup power supplies from conventional electric grid in emergency states.
− Easiness of installation / application based on modular designs of largely independent and self-sufficient Hybrid PV Noise Road (Rail) Barriers' (HPVNRBs) modular sections, which may be easily prolonged and included in the grid (in series when independent, and in parallel layout, for mutual replacement needs) by their suitable reciprocal multiplication.


Related IP activities: PV for BIPV and similar applications

Addressed IP targets: Other

Funding Scheme: ERA.NET

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 452484

TWILL-BIPV

The TWILL-BIPV project aims to improve the aesthetics and performance of PV modules by developing an innovative cell interconnection technology for bifacial solar cells, leading to lower costs, scalable manufacture and higher efficiency.


Related IP activities: PV for BIPV and similar applications

Addressed IP targets: Major advances in efficiency of established technologies (Crystalline Silicon and Thin Films) and new concepts ,Enabling mass realization of NZEB by BIPV through the establishment of structural collaborative innovation efforts between the PV sector and key sectors from the building industry

Funding Scheme: Other (imec.icon)

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 0

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CIRCUSOL

Solar power generates nearly 4% (and still growing) of Europe’s electricity demand. In 2021, the 200 GW of capacity installed in Europe will result in saving of 219 million CO2 tons/year. By 2030, 8 mill tons of PV panels are expected.

Resource efficiency is a critical success factor for the solar power sustainable growth. Performance-based, third-party ownership Product-Service System (PSS) has been widely seen as a key circular economic model to stimulate resource efficiency and reduce waste generation. CIRCUSOL aims to establish solar power as a spearhead sector to demonstrate a path driven by PSS business models towards a circular economy in Europe.
Through a co-creative approach with end-users and the entire value chain, CIRCUSOL will develop two main blocks of a circular PSS model: circular product management with re-use/refurbish/remanufacture (“second-life”) paths in addition to recycling, and value-added new product-services for residential, commercial and utility end-users. Five large-scale, real-life demonstrators will be set up in these 3 market segments, in 3 European countries (FR, BE and CH) to validate market acceptance, business viability and resource efficiency benefits.

CIRCUSOL will deliver tangible innovation for the solar power industry with market-validated PSS business models, 2nd-life PV/battery labelling/certification protocols and cost/application analysis, and an info-sharing ICT platform. The results will be exploited in FR, BE and CH and prepared for replication in Europe (Letters of Support of stakeholders attached). CIRCUSOL will also deliver verified circular business innovation methodologies for broader use by other industries, sustainability professionals and academia; plus evidence-based knowledge in circular economy implementation for policy makers. All together, CIRCUSOL will contribute to a more resource efficient Europe, while reducing GHG emissions and creating new business opportunities and jobs.


Related IP activities: New Technologies & Materials

Addressed IP targets: Further enhancement of lifetime, quality and sustainability and hence improving environmental performance

Funding Scheme: H2020

% of PV in the project: 60

Total budget: € 8253715

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SUPER PV

SUPER PV’s goal is to reduce costs of the photovoltaics (PV) system by combining technological innovations and data management methods along the PV value chain.
The project implements key actions at three levels within the PV value chain: PV module, power electronics and system integration. In the lifetime of the project, prototypes will be produced in industrial environments and tested in different (including unfavourable) climate conditions to evaluate cost efficiency and demonstrate competitiveness of the proposed solutions.
If successful, the project will significantly contribute to decreasing a levelised cost of electricity between 26%-37% while the PV products developed will accelerate the large-scale deployment of PV and will help EU PV businesses to regain leadership in world market.


Related IP activities: Technologies for silicon solar cells and modules with higher quality,Operation and diagnosis of photovoltaic plants

Addressed IP targets: Reduction of the cost of key technologies

Funding Scheme: H2020

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 11616850

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PUTTING OPEN SCIENCE INTO ACTION IN AN ENGINEERING PROJECT

Six products that will make a difference

Throughout the project, researchers participating in GRECO will design six products.

The first one is an in-situ repairing methodology that can save the cost of replacing defective modules in a PV installation while supporting the idea of Circular Economy. Through a collaborative process where we will identify and collect defective modules from the civil society and researchers from different Organizations will develop a methodology that will be tested and analyzed by installers from three countries. A video-tutorial will be published to give free access to anyone interested in the procedure.

The second one is an ageing model for PV modules to improve the estimation of energy production of PV plants and reduce the uncertainty on the estimations that are made by financial agencies when considering investments on this type of projects. To that extent, the project will call to the collaboration of European installations’ owners to access and measure their plants. Researchers will analyze these data and compare them with that obtained in the last decade, to produce the most precise model possible.

A third product targets to develop a more sustainable solution for irrigation, pursuing a reduction of costs and a major use of renewable energy in agriculture. The major innovation of GRECO is that the solution is not already agreed. During the project, both Governments and Irrigators from the Euro-Mediterranean area in an user-centered Open Innovation process will define the current needs of the irrigators and Governments and together the researchers of GRECO will co-design a product that meets their demands.

The three remaining products are devoted to improve the penetration of photovoltaic energy into the electric system, taking advantage of its decentralized character. GRECO will develop cheaper and more efficient solar cells, a novel system of modules able to provide energy to buildings up to 8 stores, and improved PV heat-pump systems as enablers of a major use of renewable sources in the daily-life. To carry out these investigations the Consortium will carry out consultations through mobilization and Mutual Learning processes with different relevant players in six different countries: Spain, Portugal, Bulgaria, Germany, United Kingdom and Brazil to define barriers and facilitators to the use of those products and consequently, define proper roadmaps for a better alignment of the technology with the society. Moreover, the project is expected to co-design with third parties a Citizen Science Initiative that allow people from around the world to contribute with their data to foster the studies and investigations of the photovoltaic community.

But perhaps the product with the greatest impact expected from the project will be the guide for researchers that the project will publish in the summer of 2020, where we explain to the scientific community how to implement the concepts of RRI and Open Science in research projects.

All products of GRECO will follow Open Science practices and several actions have been designed to contribute to the openness of our results. Researchers will adopt not only Open Access and Open Data policies, but also will explore the implementation of Open Notebooks in research institutions or the use of video-tutorials as a double resource: educational and metadata.


Related IP activities: New Technologies & Materials,Operation and diagnosis of photovoltaic plants,Cross-sectoral research at lower TRL

Addressed IP targets: Reduction of the cost of key technologies ,Further enhancement of lifetime, quality and sustainability and hence improving environmental performance ,Major advances in manufacturing and installation

Funding Scheme: H2020

% of PV in the project: 75%

Total budget: € 3116590

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Erigeneia - Enabling rising penetration and added value of photovoltaic generation by implementation of advanced storage systems

The Erigeneia project targets to enable the high penetration of PV technology and to utilize its potential value in the energy system by developing a local and central energy management system (EMS) that will combine photovoltaics (PV) with battery energy storage systems (BESS). The project will match the technical requirements imposed by the distribution system operators (DSO) with the upcoming new market regulations, capitalizing on the positive effects of PV and BESS combination. In addition, a tool for intra-hour energy forecasting will be developed and integrated into the EMS to provide a more accurate and reliable operation plan for the DSO


Related IP activities: Operation and diagnosis of photovoltaic plants

Addressed IP targets: Other

Funding Scheme: ERA.NET

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 1081467

APOLO SmArt Designed Full Printed Flexible RObust Efficient Organic HaLide PerOvskite solar cells

APOLO consortium will surpass the barriers for market deployment by providing flexible and stable perovskite solar cells using scalable and low cost processes, reducing amount of toxic materials tackle the challenges to provide market niches solutions. APOLO developments will ensure to enhance the TRL of perovskite PV technology. APOLO consortium will work on advanced materials, from cell to encapsulant to develop flexible PSC, fully printable, with efficiency of 22% with at least 80% of initial performance after relevant accelerated test from standards.

APOLO solutions will allow the development of a totally new product by integrating the modules into the architecture design of buildings. New applications of this technology open doors to other markets apart from BIPV, such as automotive, textile, etc.

PSC toxicity is considered to be negligible since the amount of lead in perovskite layer is not so relevant if it is compared against Si technology, nevertheless, the solvent toxicity should be taken in account in order to benefit industrialization of perovskite PV products.


Related IP activities: PV for BIPV and similar applications,New Technologies & Materials

Addressed IP targets: Major advances in efficiency of established technologies (Crystalline Silicon and Thin Films) and new concepts ,Reduction of the cost of key technologies ,Further enhancement of lifetime, quality and sustainability and hence improving environmental performance

Funding Scheme: H2020

% of PV in the project: 100%

Total budget: € 4997192.5

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BI-FACE - High-efficiency bifacial PV Modules and Systems for flat roof applications

The scope of the project BI-FACE is to develop innovative bifacial modules and systems for flat
roofs. The results will include three novel variations for bifacial modules and systems which are
tested in three different climate zones: subtropical (Cyprus), temperate (Austria) and maritime
temperate (Netherlands) The ultimate design of these systems is challenging due to the large
number of parameters that influence the energy yield (tilt and distance between modules, reflecting
surfaces, shading, cell spacing, materials used and weather conditions)
The project BI-FACE aims to develop technically as well as economically novel bifacial PV systems
to exploit the enormous potential of this technology. Also, the customer of the “aesthetically
beautiful” modules will be in favor of the project BI-FACE.
The expected main results are:
• Novel lightweight bifacial modules and systems for flat roofs for representative climates in
Europe
• Innovative, comprehensive models for design and installation of bifacial modules and
systems including construction requirements
• Novel manufacturing strategies
• New performance and characterization measurements
• Innovative mounting structures


Related IP activities: Operation and diagnosis of photovoltaic plants,Manufacturing technologies

Addressed IP targets: Major advances in manufacturing and installation

Funding Scheme: ERA.NET

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 1149851

1500-SIC - Develop a new photovoltaic Inverter with SiC full power operation at 1500V

The aim of 1500-SIC is to develop enabling power electronics solutions capable of delivering nominal power at 1500V with very high efficiency and high volumetric power density at competitive cost
Photovoltaic (PV) energy is experiencing significant cost reduction over the last years. Lately, the bias voltage of photovoltaic panels has risen from 1000V to 1500V, leading to a significant reduction of the Balance of Plant cost. In order to improve the
evelized Cost of Energy, manufacturers are increasing the installed DC power of PV panels for a given nominal AC power of the inverter (so-called capacity factor) from 1.2-1.3 to higher values. This results in a larger voltage at the maximum power point of the PV panel. As a consequence, conventional power electronics solutions rated at 1700V maximum voltage are not suitable. This is because they are typically designed to deliver nominal power below approximately 1300V, but increasing the capacity factor leads to higher maximum power point voltage. Therefore, new solutions are required in order to deliver rated power near 1500V.


Related IP activities: Operation and diagnosis of photovoltaic plants

Addressed IP targets: Other

Funding Scheme: ERA.NET

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 1592439

ENMESH - ENabling Micro-ConcEntrator PhotovoltaicS with Novel Interconnection MetHods

The Swiss company Insolight is developing a patented PV module that promises a reduction in LCOE for roof-based solar from 0.16€/kWh to 0.011€/kWh. The system uses an array of microsolar cells with optics and integrated microtracking to produce a low-profile rooftop-compatible solar system with an independently demonstrated efficiency of over 36%, a 100% efficiency gain over cSi. This high efficiency is made possible through the use of advanced multi-junction cells under concentrated light, a technology known as CPV. Specifically, the product represents one of the first commercial examples of micro-CPV (μCPV), wherein the cells are 1mm2 in size or less. μCPV increases performance (due to reduced cell operating temperature, higher optical efficiency and lower series resistance losses) and lowers costs. Insolight innovation has further improved the μCPV concept by embedding sun tracking internally in a 50mm-thick panel, enabling roof-top or BIPV installations and avoiding bulky and expensive trackers. An outstanding technological challenge in μCPV is the need to use massive cell interconnection processes due to the large number of micro-cells involved, 5000 cells/m2 for the Insolight module. The current state of the art is wire bonding, however this inherently serial process is prohibitive for thousands of cells. The Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, in collaboration with Dycotec Materials Ltd, offer an innovative cell interconnection process involving direct printing of ultra-durable nano-particle coatings systems to allow the massively parallel connection of solar cells in a cost-effective high volume roll-to-roll or sheet fed printing process, paving the way for the low-cost manufacture of μCPV


Related IP activities: New Technologies & Materials

Addressed IP targets: Major advances in efficiency of established technologies (Crystalline Silicon and Thin Films) and new concepts

Funding Scheme: ERA.NET

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 801799

DEFIER 2

The project DEFIER (a French word meaning «to challenge ») stands for Développements Expérimentaux de Films Innovants pour les Energies Renouvelables, translated in English as Experimental developments of innovative films for renewable energies. More precisely it is devoted to the solar cells and energy storage. Energy is one of the main research topic in the IMN laboratory, implying more than one half of the researchers. It is also an important field of development of the ARMOR company, with a large part of investments. IMN provides its scientific knowledge, its expertise in elaboration and characterization of materials. ARMOR is a world leader in ink formulation and thermal printing. The collaboration opens new opportunities for the development and use of new materials coming from IMN and allows access to industrial processes.
During the first years of the Joint Laboratory, strategies and views on R&D have been combined. The efficiency of the new organization has been proved by important scientific and technological progress, mainly in the performances of current collectors for batteries and transparent conductors for organic solar cells. It allows also the use of vapor phase techniques for thin films in these cells. A common equipment has been installed for battery preparation and testing. Fruitful discussions opened the roadmap to basic research on thin films technology and organic batteries. Nevertheless, in the coming 18 months, the main part of the power for the reinforcement of the Joint Laboratory will be devoted the current collectors and transparent conductors.


Related IP activities: New Technologies & Materials

Addressed IP targets: Major advances in efficiency of established technologies (Crystalline Silicon and Thin Films) and new concepts

Funding Scheme: Other - ANR

% of PV in the project: 50

Total budget: € 100000

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ESPOIR2

In the last ten years, we have witnessed one of the most impressive evolutions in the history of photovoltaics: the rise of perovskite solar cells with power conversion efficiency rising from 2% in 2006 to higher than 22 % in mid-2016 for single junction devices. Perovskite solar cell is thus becoming a promising emerging technology. In this context, production cost, device stability, leading to durability and long product’s life, are considered as the key performance parameters. However, the perovskite materials are very sensitive to corrosion and humidity, which impedes the commercial development in the long run and becomes one of the main issues needing to be solved urgently. As a solution at this respect, the ESPOIR2 project is oriented toward designing and tailoring nanographenes as new organic hole transporting materials. Nanographenes are designed to work as high efficient additive-free non-corrosive hole conductors, thus enhance the chemical stability of the perovskite layer. ESPOIR2 covers all aspects concerning materials development: from rational molecular design and theoretical simulation, synthesis and characterization to the incorporation of new materials in perovskite solar cells devices. The project is constructed based on a solid French-Korean research partnership led by Dr. Thanh-Tuân Bui (current project coordinator) and Prof. Nam-Gyu Park of Sungkyunkwan University, world-leading scientist in the perovskite solar cell fields. ESPOIR2 is organized in 4 dependent and strongly interactive work packages: WP0 (project management), WP1: nanographene molecular engineering and syntheis, WP2: nanographene materials advanced characterization, WP3: incorporation of nanographene in perovskite photovoltaic devices and device long-term stability investigation. The WP1 and WP2 will be realized within the Laboratory of Physicochemistry of Polymers and Interfaces of the University of Cery-Pontoise (France). The WP3 will be done at Sungkyunkwan University (South Korea) and partially at the University of Cergy-Pontoise.


Related IP activities: New Technologies & Materials

Addressed IP targets: Major advances in efficiency of established technologies (Crystalline Silicon and Thin Films) and new concepts

Funding Scheme: Other - ANR

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 199800

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OXYGENE

The OXIGEN project aims to develop a new crystalline silicon (c-Si) photovoltaic (PV) cell generation, and to obtain = 23% efficiency on large area devices. The studies will focus on the fabrication of ultra-thin junctions and functionalized oxides to reach transparent and passivated contacts using industrial processes. Two technologies will be highlighted in this project, the first one being Plasma Immersion Ion Implantation (PIII) which is ideal to obtain ultra-thin junctions. The second one, based on fast Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD), is developed by the French company Encapsulix and will be used for the fabrication of innovative electrodes allowing both surface passivation and charge carrier collection. This collaboration in the field of functionalized oxides for c-Si PV cells will be great to share high level scientific knowledge and research tools. The project will be coordinated by CEA-LITEN (LHMJ) because most of the process integration will be done at INES facilities. The scientific expertise of four academic labs (INL, LMGP, IMEP LAHC, GEEPS-IPVF) on the thin films/interface/device fabrication, simulation and characterizations will be necessary for all technological improvements of OXYGEN cells structures. All technological and scientific improvements will be done in collaboration with a start-up (ENCAPSULIX), which will offer specific skills in industrial process development.


Related IP activities: Technologies for silicon solar cells and modules with higher quality

Addressed IP targets: Major advances in efficiency of established technologies (Crystalline Silicon and Thin Films) and new concepts

Funding Scheme: Other - ANR

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 601171

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HEAVENLY - High-efficiency PERT and IBC cell development focussing on paste and CVD optimization for longterm stability

the aim of the project is to move mature silicon based photovoltaic technology into the realms of low cost/high efficiency systems. Focussing on the development of silver pastes for screen printed contacts, chemical vapour deposited layers, solar cell processing and long term solar cell stability. The project will facilitate the transfer of lab proven passivated emitter, rear totally diffused (PERT) technology to an industrial environment. The knowledge gained will then be applied to even more technologically advanced Interdigitated Back Contact (IBC) photovoltaics.


Related IP activities: Technologies for silicon solar cells and modules with higher quality

Addressed IP targets: Major advances in efficiency of established technologies (Crystalline Silicon and Thin Films) and new concepts

Funding Scheme: ERA.NET

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 1275502

NFA-15

The NFA-15 project aims to demonstrate that non fullerene acceptors can lead to 10% efficiency in fully printed modules


Related IP activities: New Technologies & Materials

Addressed IP targets: Major advances in efficiency of established technologies (Crystalline Silicon and Thin Films) and new concepts

Funding Scheme: Other - ANR

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 629010

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EnergyMatching

The overall objective of the project is to maximize the RES harvesting in the built environment by developing and demonstrating cost-effective active building skin solutions as part of an optimised building energy system, being connected into local energy grid and managed by a district energy hub implementing optimised control strategies within a comprehensive economic rationale balancing objectives and performance targets of both private and public stakeholders


Related IP activities: PV for BIPV and similar applications

Addressed IP targets: Enabling mass realization of NZEB by BIPV through the establishment of structural collaborative innovation efforts between the PV sector and key sectors from the building industry

Funding Scheme: H2020

% of PV in the project: 20

Total budget: € 6889765.6

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FORCE

This project aims at producing semiconducting electron donor polymers and small molecule electron acceptor (SMA) nanoparticle (NP) dispersions as starting materials for the preparation of thin films active layers for optoelectronic devices. The use of NP dispersions has got several advantages over the conventional polymer solution approach as it should allow for a better control of the morphology of the films at the molecular scale (polymer or small molecule aggregation/crystallisation) as well as at the mesoscopic scale (materials domains organization and size in the case of blends of donor and acceptor materials). Indeed, the morphology of the active layer is a key factor to improve the efficiency of optoelectronic devices.
Moreover, one of the recurrent difficulties in the processing of semiconducting polymers is their poor solubility. In our approach, the semiconducting polymer will be dispersed in an environmentally friendly medium such as water.
For this project, we will focus on state-of-the-art fluorinated polymers that have been synthesized in our laboratory and that achieve very high OPV efficiencies in combination with fullerene derivative. These polymers are highly crystalline but their processibility in solution is very low and they have to be spin-casted at high temperature in o-dichlorobenzene. The enginnering of side-chains will be consider in order to enhance their solubility allowing an efficient elaboration of NP by the miniemulsion or the reprecipitation technique. Original non-fullerene small molecules electron acceptor (SMA) developed at ICPEES with very high molar extinction coefficients in the UV-visible range and showing high crystallinity responsible of too strong phase separation will also be used. In this case, their confinement into the NP should be beneficial in order to control the size of the phase separation domains.
Single organic semiconducting (OSC) materials nanoparticles and two-OSC materials composite nanoparticles will be prepared by the miniemulsion or the reprecipitation techniques. Their size, in the range of 20-40 nm, will be measured by Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) and their morphology will be characterized by Transmission Electronic Microscopy (TEM), UV-visible spectroscopy or fluorescence. These characterization techniques give a good insight at the scale of the molecular level (presence of vibronic band in the UV-visible spectrum) and at the vicinity of the interface between the two polymers (fluorescence quenching).
In order to understand the aggregation/crystallisation and blend separation mechanisms in NP which occur during the miniemulsion and reprecipitation methods, a more fundamental study will be carried out as a function of process and materials parameters.
The NP will then be organized in thin films by deposition methods such as slow speed spin-casting, leading ideally to a bicontinuous blend morphology with narrow domains sizes (of the order of the nanoparticle size). Moderate thermal annealing will then help reducing the roughness of the film and increase contact between nanoparticles. Characterization of the film will be performed by Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM), TEM, UV-visible spectroscopy and fluorescence.
Finally, optoelectronic devices will be fabricated with the films as an active layer. The charge-carrier mobility in the films will be probed by the elaboration of an Organic Field Effect Transistor (OFET) and space charge limited current (SCLC) diodes in order to confirm the interconnectivity of the domains in the film. Finally, these polymer blend-based thin films will be used as active layer in organic photovoltaic devices.


Related IP activities: New Technologies & Materials

Addressed IP targets: Major advances in efficiency of established technologies (Crystalline Silicon and Thin Films) and new concepts

Funding Scheme: Other - ANR

% of PV in the project: 50

Total budget: € 194680

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OPERA

The development of “green” energy sources has attracted much intention over the last decade and is currently of a crucial importance for our societies. Because of the greenhouse effect the policies for the development of carbon free energies have become central.
Nevertheless, the terawatt-scale energy demand will remain. The electrical energy supply will therefore have to be an energy mix. Photovoltaics will be the backbone of such a renewable energy system. To fulfill the challenging price targets and to develop new markets (e.g. building integration) the design and production of solar cells working at highest efficiencies is essential.
Crystalline Si dominates the PV market (85%) and will be essential for still a very long time. However, as maximum efficiency is limited to 29.4 %, strategies must be developed to maintain its dominant role in the PV market. One way to reduce losses is to add a top cell with a higher band gap above a conventional silicon cell to create a tandem cell with potentially more than 40 % efficiency. Different ways of developing new top absorbers have been investigated but require the use of indium and gallium. Significant volatility in the price and supply of such matter over the past years has led to considerable concern given their critical roles and their use in a wide range of large scale electronic devices including solar cells. Moreover, III-V tandem cells require the use of epitaxial growth that remain both expensive and limiting for large scale realization and will therefore negatively influence the production costs even at high production capacity. Finaly, the materials used are toxic and their acceptance in society is therefore limited.
It is so important to study and develop new indium-free Earth abundant and non-toxic materials with optimized properties for the realization of innovative solar cell demonstrating affordable cost for mass production.
The OPERA project aims at developing a new kind of low-cost, indium/gallium-free, non-toxic nitride absorber and to realize first test nitride cell by using easy-to-use, up-sizeable and cost affordable production technique (sputtering). This is an ambitious goal that would be a major step forward in the field of solar energy.
Moreover, each intermediate step of the project would bring new knowledge more especially about single top nitride solar cell or related materials fundamental properties. Indeed, the family of Zn-IV-N2 alloys is promising as it could span the solar spectrum and could then replace the InGaN alloys as absorbers. Nonetheless, data about ZnSnN2 alloys remain scarce. The interest of such alloy for PV has increased the last two years, but numerous efforts remain to be done to better understand its fundamental properties.
The OPERA project gathers four laboratories with different specialties and complementary skills: the Jean Lamour Institute - CNRS - France dedicated to material science. The Institute of Electronics Microelectronics and Nanotechnology – CNRS – France with skills in material sciences and device technologies. Institut National de l’Energie Solaire – Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique et aux Energies Alternatives: a well-known French institute for solar technologies and transfer to industry. The Group of electrical engineering of Paris (GeePs), formerly LGEP, is one of the main PV laboratories in France, a founding member of the CNRS PV Photovoltaic Federation (FedPV), and an active partner of IPVF (Institut Photovoltaïque Francilien).


Related IP activities: New Technologies & Materials

Addressed IP targets: Major advances in efficiency of established technologies (Crystalline Silicon and Thin Films) and new concepts

Funding Scheme: Other - ANR

% of PV in the project: 100

Total budget: € 509505

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PITSOL

The PISTOL ANR Industrial Chair Project is a collaboration between TOTAL, a French energy company with interests in photovoltaics, and the LPICM (Physics of Interfaces and Thin Films Laboratory), a CNRS laboratory located at the Ecole Polytechnique that specializes in materials processing using plasmas. The chair holder will be Dr. Erik Johnson, a CNRS researcher at the LPICM, director of the NanoSil research group, and inventor on five key patents covering processes being explored in this project.

The PISTOL project aims to apply the expertise, savoir faire, and intellectual property of the LPICM, (including jointly held patents with TOTAL), to solve two well-defined challenges in semiconductor processing by using novel plasma techniques. The techniques deployed are all complete technological ruptures, invented at the LPICM, and hence offer either (1) a significant cost-reduction over the competing processes or (2) a process unavailable by any other technique.

Beyond these technological ruptures, the project addresses the strategic necessities of both partners in the short and long term. In the short term, the project has been designed to include a task on value creation. The goal of this task is to regularly quantify the economic benefit of the processes developed, and then to determine the best course of action to create value from the results of the projects. Such courses of action include direct use (by Total or its affiliates), licensing to a third party, involvement of a third industrial partner (such as an equipment maker), or joining forces with another academic partner.

Looking towards long term goals, the project is deeply committed to education and training through research, at all levels of study from Masters' courses taught by industrial experts, through internships, to doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers.

The LPICM is uniquely positioned to execute this project due not only to this expertise and intellectual property, but also for their in-house capability to develop such processes from plasma reactor design to material and device testing. The laboratory's long experience in investigating the science of plasma processing (the role of plasma-formed particles, using novel chemistries, exploring non-traditional excitation techniques) for a broad range of applications (display, photovoltaics, optoelectronics, …) is the foundation on which this project is built.

In addition to these reasons, from TOTAL's perspective the LPICM is the ideal partner in this project due to three factors: (1) an established relationship of trust covering confidentiality during cooperative work, enabling more open discussion (2) a shared perspective on value generation, and (3) a proven ability to function with a tight feedback loop with industry.


Related IP activities: New Technologies & Materials

Addressed IP targets: Major advances in efficiency of established technologies (Crystalline Silicon and Thin Films) and new concepts

Funding Scheme: Other - ANR

% of PV in the project: 30

Total budget: € 600000

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