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Electronics, magnetics and photonics


Future photovoltaics based on earth abundant materials

Using photovoltaics based on earth abundant materials is important because it makes solar energy production more sustainable and cost-effective. Earth abundant materials are widely available and do not contribute to resource depletion, environmental pollution or geopolitical conflicts. In addition, they can be manufactured at scale using existing technology, reducing the costs of solar energy production. This can lead to wider adoption of solar energy, which is a clean and renewable source of power that can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat climate change.


The use of solar energy has the potential to revolutionize the world's energy system, making it more sustainable and environmentally friendly. However, in order to fully realize this potential, it is crucial to develop innovative photovoltaic (PV) technologies that can effectively harness the power of the sun. Currently, the PV market is dominated by crystalline-Si (c-Si), thin-film CdTe, and Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) based devices, but there is a growing need to explore other materials and architectures that can contribute to more efficient solar energy production.

This is where the present symposium comes in. It provides a platform for leading experts in the fields of materials science and photovoltaics to gather and discuss the latest advancements in earth-abundant materials suitable for solar energy production. The focus of the symposium is to showcase recent research and ongoing projects that aim to improve the understanding of materials and devices, and to explore new directions for more efficient and effective solar cell production.

The symposium will cover all stages of development of earth-abundant and newly emerging materials for thin-film PV, including experimental and theoretical/computational approaches. The main objective is to encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing among researchers and practitioners, in order to drive the advancement of photovoltaics based on earth-abundant materials.

Overall, the symposium will provide a valuable opportunity to bring together a community of experts and to explore the potential of earth-abundant materials in the field of photovoltaics, with the ultimate goal of making solar energy a more accessible and cost-effective source of clean energy for all.

Hot topics to be covered by the symposium:

Topics will span from insights into basic materials science, to analysis of device properties and new device structures, to discussions of the progress in synthesis methods and growth control, and to life cycle assessment, recyclability and end-of-life management.

All materials layers of importance for solar cell devices will be addressed, such as absorbers, transparent conductors, interface layers, buffers and other components of thin film PV. Materials will include, but will not be limited to: sulfides/selenides (Cu2S, WSe2, Sn(S,Se), FeS2, Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4), nitrides (Zn(Ge, Si,Sn)N2, Cu3N) phosphides (ZnSnP2, Zn3P2), oxides (ZnVO, ZnSnO, Cu2O), and related multinary compounds.

  • Emerging earth abundant materials and nanomaterials for solar cell absorbers
  • Absorber preparation and material properties
  • Novel materials and innovations for transparent conducting electrodes
  • Computational design for earth abundant PV materials and devices
  • Defect analysis of materials
  • Novel solar cell architectures, device characterization and modeling
  • Contacts, buffers, substrates and interfaces properties
  • Life cycle assessment and recyclability of new PV materials

List of invited speakers (confirmed):

  • Sonia Ruiz Raga (ICN2, Spain)
  • A. Pérez-Rodriguez (IREC, Spain)
  • Giulia Grancini (Univ. Pavia, Italy)
  • Mirjana Dimitrievska
  • Nelson Dzade (Penn State, USA)
  • Maria Chiara Spadaro (Italy)
  • Simon Escobar Steinvall (Lund University, Sweden)
  • Emmanuel Kymakis (HMU, Greece)



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Symposium organizers

MXC 330 (Bâtiment MXC), Station 12, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland

Science Park 104, 1098 XG Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Jordi ARBIOL (Main organizer)ICREA & Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2), CSIC and BIST

Campus UAB, Edifici ICN2, Bellaterra, 08193 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain