The photovoltaic project group has solid experience in the modelling, development and characterization of crystalline silicon and thin-film cells. It develops its expertise in this field, while specializing in more exploratory themes.
The research activities of the photovoltaic project group are divided on these axes:
- Silicon PV cell on thin film (down to a few μm). The main axis concerns the implementation of nanophotonic structure on ultrathin silicon cell, to maximize the optical absorption of silicon on these thin layers (collaboration with photonic project group ). In addition, the team is developing new concepts for the creation of multi-junction cell “all Silicon-based”, with a sufficient output voltage for integration as an autonomous generator in embedded systems.
- Tandem cells: The main axis concerns tandem III-V / Si cells, in collaboration with other research groups. The group works on projects for the integration of III-V thin film, but also with a “top” cell in nanowires III-V. Part of the study consists of creating efficient tunnel junction in Si. (INL-H & N team collaboration and INL-nanophotonics).
- Perovskite PV cells: the PV group work pn hybrid perovskite materials and produces its own cells, emphasizing the optical structuration of the perovskite thin film (INL-nanophotonic collaboration), for the adaptation of the optical transfer with the Si bottom cell as part of a tandem structure (see also the Perovskites Hybrids project group)
- Thermo-electric analysis of PV cells: study of the impact of thermal conditions and, more generally, real-life conditions of operation of PV cells on their efficiency. The study of the thermal part involves the development of a multiphysical model of the thermo-electric behavior of the cell, coupled to an I (V) characterization under imposed conditions. The goal is to be able to influence the cell structure itself from the design stage, in order to optimize its design according to its operating environment.