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Thin film chalcogenide photovoltaic materials

The Thin Film Chalcogenide Photovoltaic Materials symposium 2018 will closely follow the research in the field of chalcogenide materials for photovoltaic applications. The field is in fast progress, especially considering the emerging field of new materials, such as Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 in addition to the more mature materials CdTe, and Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2. The symposium has a long tradition on attracting the most successful researchers in the world within this field. It has grown over the years and become one of the largest symposia at E-MRS Spring Meetings.


Chalcogenides are highly interesting for their use as light absorber layers in solar cells due to their uniquely high absorbance. These materials include CdTe and the system CuInSe2 – CuGaSe2 – CuInS2 – AgInSe2 -CuAlSe2 and their alloys. The most commonly used alloy of the latter system is Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2. An emerging material with a growing research interest is Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4. Examples of chalcogenide materials used as components in this type of solar cells are CdS and Zn(O,S), which are used as buffer layers.

In the recent past, industrial activities have expanded, especially in the field of CdTe and Cu(In,Ga)Se2 and a production capacity of above 2 GW per annum has been built up for CdTe and above 1 GW per annum for CIGS. All of the aforementioned materials are complex and further fundamental research is needed to improve the electrical and material properties and thus enhance the quality of solar cells and modules. The findings will lead to increased efficiencies of the solar cell devices and thereby improved cost structures of the photovoltaic systems. Presently, record efficiencies of 22.6% for Cu(In,Ga)Se2, 22.1% for CdTe and 13.6% for Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 are obtained, which outperform for example multicrystalline silicon, which has 21.3% efficiency, whereas monocrystalline silicon is at challenging 26.6%.

New concepts for further increasing the performance and reducing the costs by, for example, improved solar cell architectures and processing will be discussed together with new and improved characterization methods involving the latest development in microscopy and electrical measurement equipment.

In previous E-MRS conferences the research communities in these highly productive research fields have met to discuss and learn from each other. In addition to oral presentations and poster sessions, discussion sessions with thematic topics have also been included at the end of each day. A young scientist tutorial has been a very popular event among the PhD students in the field. We strongly believe that this successful series will attract the leading researchers in the field also in the next E-MRS Spring Meeting 2018.

The Thin Film Chalcogenide Photovoltaic Materials Symposium at 2018 E-MRS Spring meeting will include a scientific workshop on Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 co-organized by the coordinators of the EU Horizon 2020 projects SWInG (Dr. Bart Vermang) and STARCELL (Dr. Edgardo Saucedo).

Hot topics to be covered by the symposium:

  • Processes for film synthesis
  • Thin film growth, theory and experimental aspects
  • Material combinations and heterostructures
  • Chalcogenide PV materials, theory and modeling
  • Novel/ alloyed chalcogenide materials
  • Material characterization methods
  • Electrical characterization methods, device analysis
  • New understanding of defects in chalcogenide-based PV materials
  • Research related to upscaling and manufacturing
  • Diagnostic tools
  • Chalcogenide-based solar cells in tandem devices
  • The role of alkaline elements in chalcogenide-based solar cells
  • Passivation of interfaces and surfaces
  • Novel device concepts
  • Advanced light management concepts

List of confirmed invited speakers:

  • Maria Malitchaya, Aalto Univ.: DFT calculations on role of alkalines in chalcopyrite based solar cells
  • Matthias Maiberg, Univ. Halle: 2D simulations of chalcogenide thin film solar cells
  • Marika Edoff, Uppsala Univ.: Recent progress in high band gap CIGS with Ag alloying
  • Philip Jackson, ZSW: High efficiency CIGSe solar cells
  • Susanne Siebentritt, Univ. Luxembourg: Quasi fermi level splitting in CIGS thin film solar cells
  • Norio Terada, Kagoshima Univ.: Spectroscopic study of electronic structure of CIGSSe-based cells
  • Gong Xiong, First-Solar: High efficiency CdTe solar cells and modules
  • Jeffrey Britt, Global Solar: Flexible CIGS solar cells and modules
  • Lydia Helena Wong, NTU: High efficiency Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 solar cells from non-toxic hybrid inks
  • Thomas Schnabel, ZSW: Wide band-gap CZGeS kesterite solar cells
  • Aron Walsh, ICL: First-principles study of extended defects in Cu2ZnSnS4 and Cu2ZnSnSe4
  • Byoung Koun Min, KIST: Solution-processed CIGS for power generating windows

Tentative list of scientific committee members:

  • D. Lincot (CNRS), France
  • C. Ferekides (University of South Florida) USA
  • T. Wada, (Ryokoku Univ.) Japan
  • A.N. Tiwari (Empa), Switzerland
  • R. Noufi (NREL) USA
  • J.F. Guillemoles (CNRS) France
  • H.W. Schock (Helmholtz) Germany
  • D. Cahen (Weizmann Institute of Science) Israel
  • U. Rau (Jülich) Germany
  • R. Scheer (University of Halle) Germany
  • A. Romeo, (University of Verona) Italy
  • M. Edoff, (University of Uppsala) Sweden


Selected papers will be published in a special issue of the journal "Thin Solid Films" (Elsevier).

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Symposium organizers
Alexander R. UHLUniversity of Washington

Molecular Eng. & Sciences Bldg., Rm. 120 3946 W Stevens Way NE Box 351652, Seattle, WA 98195, USA

+1 206 734 0742
Daniel ABOU-RASHelmholz Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie GmbH

Hahn-Meitner Platz 1 14109 Berlin Germany

+49 30 8062 43218
Negar NAGHAVICentre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS)/Institute of Research & Development on Photovoltaic Energy (IRDEP)

IRDEP, EDF R&D 6 quai Watier-78401 Chatou, France

+33 (0)1 30 87 75 12
Stephan BUECHELER (Main Organizer)Empa

Laboratory for Thin Films and Photovoltaics, Überlandstrasse 129, 8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland

+ 41 58 765 6107
Woo Kyoung KIMSchool of Chemical Engineering

Yeungnam University 280 Daehak-ro, Gyeongsan, Gyeongbuk, 38541, Korea

+82 53 810 2514