CONductive traNsparent Electrodes (CONNECT-PV)

Scope of project

The direct conversion of sunlight into electricity using solar cells is a key technology for the sustainable energy supply of the future. Thin film solar cells are the fastest growing branch of the booming photovoltaic market. They can be fabricated using inorganic (a-Si, mc-Si, CdTe, CIGS) or organic (OPV, DSC) materials. Several Swiss research institutes perform work on thin film photovoltaics and have presented a number of world record efficiencies for small-area thin film solar cells. These institutes have successfully collaborated in the CCEM-supported ThinPV and DURSOL projects so far, where they concentrated on improving the performance and studying the stability of thin film solar cells.

The CONNECT-PV specifically aims at the development of new conductive and transparent contact layers for thin film solar cells. The challenge is to find substitutes for the commonly used ITO. Material layers of amorphous metal oxides, metal grids and metal nanowires will be developed and rated in terms of mechanical properties, electrical resistance, optical transparency and their performance in thin film solar cells and modules. The compatibility of these materials with low-temperature and large-area deposition processes on flexible substrates is a key challenge of this project. Input from device modeling, including light management schemes and electrical loss mechanisms on the module level, such as certified solar cell/module testing and energy rating are essential contributions to this project.


Dr. Stephan Buecheler
Empa, Dünnfilme und Photovoltaik
Phone: +41 58 765 61 07