The group’s research activities are structured as follows:

  1. Improved reliability of solar photovoltaics. The reliability of photovoltaics is as important as the efficiency when aiming for a low levelized cost of electricity (LCOE). In our group, we do a wide range of research on developing new rapid testing methods for detecting failure modes as well as working on mitigation solutions.
  2. Atomic layer deposited (ALD) thin films for a wide range of applications. ALD offers unprecedented control of the material composition as the growth precursors that are used during the self-limiting reactions can be easily changed. This allows the synthesis of multilayer structures that can be tailored at the atomic scale towards desired material properties such as work function, phase, density and type of defects, etc. In our group we have three ALD reactors. Two of then are single wafer reactors with integrated metrology such as spectroscopic ellipsometry which is used for fundamental growth studies and process development (often informed by density function theory calculations). We also have a pilot-scale batch ALD reactor which can coat up to 200 samples in one run. We work on a wide range of applications, including silicon solar cells, thin film solar cells, and low-cost catalysts.
  3. Radiation-tolerant space silicon solar cells. We are currently entering Space 2.0 with a wider range of players, including private companies, and a wide range of applications from low-cost constellations of satellites to extremely ambitious and costly projects such as establishing habitats on the Moon and beyond. However, one of the main concerns for solar cells for space applications is their radiation stability. We have developed technology to enable silicon solar cells to “self heal” their radiation damage, opening the way for a significant cost reduction in space solar cells.
  4. Optimal O&M strategy and LCOE modelling for ground-mounted PV. We are currently working on improving the performance and financial yield modeling of gigascale photovoltaic plants. We will in particular look at ground-mounted PV and try to improve our understanding and reduce the cost of operations and maintenance (O&M) requirements for this emerging technology.