Exploring and Improving Durability of Thin Film Solar Cells (DURSOL)

Scope of project

The project objectives are focussed towards the understanding of fundamental degradation phenomena in thin film solar cells. Degradation is due to complex mechanisms related to inherent material stability, interdiffusion across junctions, and due to external influences such as ambient atmosphere and solar light, and it certainly depends on the type of semiconductors being used in the devices and how the solar cells are encapsulated. Despite this large variety of phenomena, the way degradation processes are identified relies on the observation of the temporal evolution of device performance and its relationship to microscopic changes in device materials and morphology.

The goal of this project is to use the competences of the partners in micromorph silicon, compound semiconductors, dye sensitized and organic thin film solar cells to:

- understand fundamental processes and microscopic origins of degradation phenomena
- remedy lifetime shortening by modifying the material properties of absorbers, electrical contacts, interfaces and device architecture
- excluding harmful external contaminants (e.g. moisture) from reaching device layers by applying appropriate encapsulants/barrier coatings
- achieve long term performance stability of devices, potentially at low production costs.

Dursol is the natural successor of the tasks performed in the ThinPV project.


Dr. Frank Nüesch, EMPA
Telephone: +41 44 823 47 40