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Energy materials


Thin film chalcogenide photovoltaic materials

The Thin Film Chalcogenide Photovoltaic Materials symposium 2020 will closely follow the research in the field of chalcogenide materials for PV applications based on derivates of CdTe, Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2, Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 and their related alloys. It aims to provide a platform for presenting recent and on-going researches for further efficiency improvements and cost reduction of these systems.


Chalcogenides are highly interesting for their use as light absorber layers in solar cells due to their uniquely high absorbance, bandgap tenability and defect chemistry. Stability and reliability, monolithic deposition, aesthetical appearance, applicability onto flexible substrates and in roll-to-roll production, superior temperature coefficient, potential in tandem applications are other advantages that chalcogenide technology offers. These materials include CdTe and its alloys, CuInSe2 – CuGaSe2 – CuInS2 – AgInSe2 -CuAlSe2 system (commonly called CIGS) and their alloys and Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4.

Presently, record efficiencies of 23.3% for Cu(In,Ga)Se2 and 22.1% for CdTe were obtained, which outperform 22.3% efficiency of multicrystalline silicon. Moreover, industrial activities continue to expand, especially in the field of CdTe and Cu(In,Ga)Se2 which are now produced at the gigawatts peak (GWp) scale.

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. New findings will lead to a better understanding of the fundamental physical properties of the semiconductors, which ultimately will lead to increased efficiencies of the solar cell devices and thereby improved cost structures of the photovoltaic systems.

This symposium aims to bring together different actors on these technologies and to provide a platform for presenting recent and on-going researches for further efficiency improvements and cost reduction
employing new concepts of solar cell architectures such as passivation and light management, tandem multi-junction architectures, bulk and interfacial optimization, novel related absorber materials as well as deep characterization and modelling.

The symposium has a long tradition on attracting the most successful researchers in the world and is becoming over the years one of the largest symposia at E-MRS Spring Meetings. 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 2020.

Hot topics to be covered by the symposium:

  • Chalcogenide PV materials, theory and modeling
  • Novel/ alloyed chalcogenide materials
  • Processes for film synthesis
  • Thin film growth, theory and experimental aspects
  • Material combinations and heterostructures
  • 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:

  • Roland Scheer (Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany): heavy alkali effects on wide bandgap CIGS based solar cells
  • Nicolas Barreau, (University of Nantes, France): Solar cell based on co-evaporated Cu(In,Ga)S2: process tricks and material issues
  • Daniel Abou-Ras (HZB, Germany): Limiting factors for CIGS solar cells from microscopic analyses
  • Bart Vermong (IMEC, Belgium): Perovskite, marriage material for chalcogenide?
  • Aron Walsh (Imperial college, UK) :Microscopic origins of voltage loss in chalcogenide solar cells
  • M. A. Scarpulla (University of Utah, US) :Composition inhomogeneity and device implications of grain boundaries in CdTe
  • Chantana Jakapan (Ritsumeikan University, Japan):Enhancement of conversion efficiency up to 22% for Cd-free Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 solar cell with sputtered (Zn,Mg)O buffer layer
  • Jonathan Scragg (Uppsala University, Sweden)
  • Maarja Grossberg (Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia)
  • Susanne Siebentritt (University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg) 

Tentative list of scientific committee members:

  • D. Lincot (IPVF), France
  • T. Wada, (Ryokoku Univ.), Japan
  • A.N. Tiwari (Empa), Switzerland
  • J.F. Guillemoles (IPVF), France
  • 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
  • D. Abou-Ras (HZB), Germany


Selected papers will be published in a topical issue of Thin Solid Films.

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Symposium organizers
Alex REDINGERUniversity of Luxembourg

Scanning Probe Microscopy Laboratory - 162a, avenue de la Faïencerie - L-1511 Luxembourg

+352 4666 44 6358
Amit MUNSHIColorado State University

Department of Mechanical Engineering, 1374 Campus Delivery, Fort Collins, CO 80523, USA

+1 970 491 8861
Jiro NISHINAGANational Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST)

Central 2, 1-1-1, Umezono, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8568, Japan

+81 29 861 5042
Negar NAGHAVI (Main)Centre National de Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) / Eco-Efficient Products and Process Laboratory (E2P2L)

3 rue Michel Ange, 75016 Paris, France

+33 6 79 50 90 69
Romain CARRONEmpa

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

+41 58 765 4791