Leuven, Belgium: IMEC and Flamac, a division of SIM vzw (StrategischInitiatiefMaterialen in Vlaanderen or Strategic Initiative Materials in Flanders) agreed to work together to develop novel semiconductor materials for solar-cell applications. The effort will screen a variety of materials to find an alternative for copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) that’s used in standard solar cells.
Flamac’s recently installed PVD (physical vapour deposition)/PE-CVD (plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition) coater allows the automated deposition of numerous thin-film materials. The platform consists of eight process chambers, which helps promote the study of PVD and PE-CVD coating processes. This coating system, combined with Flamac’s high-throughput analytic tools, becomes a powerful screening platform for accelerated screening of novel materials.
IMEC’s research on solar cells focuses on improving the efficiency and manufacturability of various key technologies, most notably silicon-based solar cells and thin-film solar cells (e.g., organic solar cells and printed inorganic cells based on nanoparticle inks). Its thin-film solar cell activities are integrated in the Solliance collaboration platform.
The goal of Solliance is to strengthen the position of the Eindhoven-Leuven-Aachen triangle (ELAT region) as a world player in thin-film PV. To realize this goal, it will jointly use state-of-the-art infrastructure, align research programs, and cooperate closely with the solar business community.