Rousset, France
Rousset, France

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Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: NMP-05-2014 | Award Amount: 8.01M | Year: 2015

Printed electronics (PE) is set to revolutionise the electronics industry over the next decade and can offer Europe the opportunity to regain lost market share. Printed electronics allows for the direct printing of a range of functional (conductive, resistive, capacitive and semi-conducting) nanomaterials formulations to enable a simpler, more cost-effective, high performance and high volume processing in comparison to traditional printed circuit board and semiconductor manufacturing techniques. It has been reported by Frost and Sullivan that the market for printed electronics will increase in revenues from $0.53Bn in 2010 to $5.04 Bn in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate of 32.5%. However, the migration towards low-cost, liquid-based, high resolution deposition and patterning using high throughput techniques, such as inkjet printing, requires that suitable functional nanomaterials formulations (e.g. inks) are available for end users in industrially relevant quantities. Presently, there are issues with industrial supply of nanomaterials which are low cost, high performance, environmentally friendly and tailored for high throughput systems. Therefore better collaboration is warranted between supply chain partners to ensure nanomaterial production and nanomaterial formulations are tailored for end use applications to meet this need. The INSPIRED project will address these fundamental issues within the printed electronics industry: Ensuring that suitable functional nanomaterials formulations (inks) are available for end users in industrial scale quantities. Production of these nanomaterial formulations on an industrial scale and then depositing them using cost-effective, high throughput printing technologies enables rapid production of printed electronic components, on a wide variety of substrates. Therefore, enabling new electronics applications, whilst overcoming the problems associated with traditional manufacturing.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.71M | Year: 2012

The overall objective of this project is the creation of an ITN network for the structured interdisciplinary training of researchers in advanced thin film photovoltaic (PV) technologies. The project proposes the development of new technologies compatible with the cost, efficiency, sustainability and mass production requirements that are needed to become a reliable and future alternative to conventional non renewable energy sources. With this objective in mind, the project will focus on the development of kesterite based solar cells. Kesterites are quaternary compounds with a crystalline structure very similar to that of chalcopyrites (CIGS: Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2). They have a strong potential for thin film low cost PV technologies, related to their direct bandgap and high optical absorption. In contrast with CIGS -where the potential for high mass production is compromised by the scarcity of In- they are constituted by abundant elements. For this, a consortium formed by research institutes, universities and companies with strongly complementary expertises has been formed. This includes groups that are leaders on the development of kesterite cells (Univ. Northumbria, HZB, Univ. Luxembourg) with groups with strong expertise on CIGS technologies (that are the parent technologies for kesterite solar cells) (EMPA, UU-ASC, NEXCIS, IREC, Free Univ. Berlin, Univ. dAix-Marseille, Autonomous Univ. Madrid). Free Univ. Berlin has also significant experience in the crystalline analysis of kesterites. Involvement of private companies (NEXCIS, Abengoa) devoted to the production and exploitation of PV technologies provides with complementary training aspects related to transferability of processes to industrial production and exploitation issues. All these aspects are relevant for the definition of a structured interdisciplinary training programme for the formation of high level researchers that will be required in Europe for the development of competitive PV technologies.


Patent
Nexcis, Fundacio Institute Recerca En Energia Of Catalonia and University of Barcelona | Date: 2016-02-10

The invention concerns a method and system for real time in situ monitoring of a solution during a solution based process, a reference sample (6) being immersed in the solution, the method comprising the following steps:- Emitting an excitation light in the solution and on the reference sample (6);- Collecting a Raman spectrum generated by the solution and by the reference sample (6);- Comparing the Raman spectrum generated by the solution with the Raman spectrum generated by the reference sample (6). The system comprises a Raman probe (4) comprising an emission source (1) and a photodetector unit (2). Preferably the excitation light is guided to the solution and the reference sample (6) via an optical fiber (3). Preferably the Raman scattered light is guided to the photodetector unit (2) via an optical fiber (3).


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: ENERGY.2011.2.1-2;NMP.2011.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 10.02M | Year: 2012

This project will exploit the potential of chalcogenide based thin film photovoltaic technologies for the development and scale-up of new processes based on nanostructured materials for the production of high efficiency and low cost photovoltaic devices and modules compatible with mass production requirements. Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 (CIGS) chalcogenide based devices have the highest efficiency of all thin film PV technologies, having recently achieved a record value of 20.3% at cell level. These technologies have already entered the stage of mass production, with commercial modules that provide stable efficiencies in the 11-12% range, and a predicted world-side production capacity over 2 GW/a for 2011. However, current production methods in CIGS industrial technologies typically rely on costly, difficult to control (over large surfaces) vacuum-based deposition processes that are known for low material utilisation of 30-50%. This compromises the potential reduction of material costs inherent to thin film technologies. At the forefront of this, the SCALENANO project proposes the development of alternative environmental friendly and vacuum free processes based on the electrodepositon of nanostructured precursors with the objective to achieve a much more efficient exploitation of the cost saving and efficiency potential of CIGS based PV. The project also includes the exploration and development of alternative new processes with very high potential throughput and process rate based in the use of printing techniques with novel nanoparticle ink formulations and new cost effective deposition techniques, that will allow proposing an industrial roadmap for the future generation of chalcogenide based cells and modules


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IAPP | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-IAPP | Award Amount: 794.00K | Year: 2011

The objective of this project is the interchange of knowledge and the establishment of cooperative synergies between the research and industrial sectors that are required for the development and industrial implementation of advanced photovoltaic (PV) technologies for the fabrication of low cost high efficiency Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 (CIGS) thin-film solar cells and modules. The project aims exploiting the potential of CIGS based cells for achieving high efficiency devices together with that of electrodeposition (ED) based processes for the low cost industrial implementation of PV technologies. Increase of the competitiveness of these technologies requires for a significant effort in the improvement of the efficiency of the devices, which in turn implies the need for a detailed characterisation of the processes and the identification of the main loss mechanisms in the cells. The main scientific objectives of the project are: a) to decrease the gap in the efficiency of ED-based solar cells in relation to that of devices fabricated with conventional higher cost PVD techniques and b) to improve the production yield and throughput by the implementation of quality control and process monitoring techniques. For this, a consortium formed by a research institute (IREC) and a company (NEXCIS) with strongly complementary competences and scientific background is defined. In this consortium, the strong experience of the group at the NEXCIS company on the development and industrial scale-up of ED based CIGS PV technologies is complemented by the solid background and maturity of IREC on the advanced characterisation of heterostructures and processes in CIGS thin film technologies, and on the application of Raman scattering based techniques for process analysis and monitoring. The consortium covers a broad range of expertises in deposition methods, thin film devices, materials and devices characterization, and looks forward manufacturing and industrial production objectives


The present invention relates to a method for fabricating a thin layer made of a I-III-VI alloy and having photovoltaic properties. The method according to the invention comprises first steps of:a) depositing an adaptation layer on a substrate,b) depositing at least one layer comprising at least elements I and/or III, on said adaptation layer. The adaptation layer is deposited under near vacuum conditions and step b) comprises a first operation of depositing a first layer of I and/or III elements, under same conditions as the deposition of the adaptation layer, without exposing to air the adaptation layer.


The invention relates to a method of manufacturing a I-III-VI_(2 )layer with photovoltaic properties, comprising: The element VI usually diffuses into the contact layer (MO) during the heat treatment and combines with the metal to form a superficial layer (SUP) on the contact layer. In the method of the invention, the metal deposition comprises a step during which an additional element is added to the metal to form a compound (MO-EA), in the contact layer, acting as a barrier to the diffusion of the element VI, which allows precisely controlling the properties of the superficial layer, particularly its thickness.


A treatment of thin layers for forming a connection of a photovoltaic cell including the thin layers, which includes a first layer, having photovoltaic properties, deposited on a second layer, and the second layer, which is a metal contact layer, deposited on a substrate, the treatment including etching, in the first layer, at least one first trench having a first width so as to expose the second layer; and etching, in the first trench, a second trench so as to expose the substrate, the second trench having a second width less than the first width.


A process for forming a semiconductor layer, especially with a view to photovoltaic applications, and more particularly to a process for forming a semiconductor layer of I-III-VI_(2 )type by heat treatment and chalcogenization of a metallic precursor of I-III type, the process comprising: a heating step under an inert atmosphere during which the temperature increases uniformly up to a first temperature of between 460 C. and 540 C., in order to enable the densification of the metallic precursor, and a chalcogenization step beginning at said first temperature and during which the temperature continues to increase up to a second temperature, a stabilization temperature, of between 550 C. and 600 C., in order to enable the formation of the semiconductor layer. The formation of a semiconductor layer, or equivalently of an absorber, having a gain in conversion efficiency of around 4%, is thus advantageously achieved.


Patent
Nexcis and Aix - Marseille University | Date: 2013-12-09

A photoreflectance device for characterizing a rough surface includes a pump beam emitter to emit a pump beam; a probe beam emitter to emit a probe beam; a detector to detect the probe beam reflected by the surface; an integrating sphere to collect the probe beam reflected by the surface, the integrating sphere including: a first output connected to the detector, and disposed so as to receive a majority of the probe beam reflected by the surface; a second output arranged so as to receive a majority of the pump beam reflected by the surface.

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