In our clean room lab we develop high efficiency thin film solar cells based on the chalcogenide materials Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (abbreviated as CIGS) and Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 (abbreviated as CZTS). Both these materials have extraordinary absorption properties and can therefore be made very thin. Less than 1 micrometer is enough to absorb all available sunlight! Our long term goal is to explore and challenge the theoretical limit for efficiency of around 30 % and we are at present at about 20 % solar to electric power conversion efficiency. In related research we also study the use of advanced optical designs – which involve nanoparticle plasmon resonances – to push the thicknesses of solar cell absorber layers much further, even down to a few nanometers.
Synthesizing solar cells are one part of our research, but measurements and understanding how they work and can be improved is just as important. For both, working in a structured way and extensive equipment is needed. We have a large activity working freely over the borders of material science, electronic engineering, chemical engineering, modeling and theory. Below you can follow the links to read more about our different research groups.