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Institute of Energy and Climate Research

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IEK-5 Photovoltaics

Sustainable Photovoltaics – Foundations and Technology

The Institute of Energy Research 5 – Photovoltaic (IEK-5) focusses on researching new materials and innovative device architectures for sustainable photovoltaics based on thin films. The IEK-5 deals with the fundamental physics of partly disordered materials used in solar cells. These can be amorphous or microcrystalline silicon and its alloys, organic or hybrid (organic-inorganic) materials or various functional oxides. In addition, components and devices for new applications such as passivation and contact layers for high efficiency silicon heterojunction solar cells or multijunction solar cells for efficient water splitting are developed. At the same time, the IEK-5 develops the technology to fabricate solar cells with a particular focus on the industrial application and on issues of scaling up the technology. A central requirement for the successful development of materials, devices and production technology is an extensive set of characterization methods and simulation capabilities that are used to analyze the optoelectronic properties of thin-film materials and related devices. These activities include all relevant length scales from atomistic resolution of nanostructures and elementary processes up to the yield analysis of modules or photovoltaic systems.

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