Nanostructured Solar Cells

LaNaSC – Laboratory for Nanostructured Solar Cells

The Laboratory for Nanostructured Solar Cells (LaNaSC) develops nano- and micro-structures of chalcopyrite-type semiconductors (Cu(In,Ga)Se2) for application in photovoltaic energy conversion.

We currently follow four research lines:

  • Development of advanced thin-film solar cells by the implementation of micro- and nanostructures.
  • Development and application of scanning probe microscopy techniques for the characterization of solar cell materials and light-induced phenomena at the nanometer scale.
  • Development of 2D materials for optoelectronis applications.
  • Development of growth methods for chalcopyrite nanostructures i.e. quantum dots and nanowires. The goal is to combine the excellent light absorbing properties of chalcopyrite-type materials with the quantum properties of nanostructured materials, and thereby provide a pathway for the enhancement of power conversion efficiencies of photovoltaic devices beyond the Shockley-Queisser limit.

The laboratory is equipped with various materials preparation facilities consisting in a molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) setup for the growth of nanostructured chalcopyrite-type semiconductors, a hybrid sputter system for Cu(In,Ga)Se2, Mo, and ZnO, and an evaporation system for Cu(In,Ga)Se2 thin films.

The lab also operates an ultra-high vacuum scanning probe microscope, combining STM, AFM, and KPFM facilities with surface photovoltage methods to study light-induced phenomena at the nanometer scale.

INL_GroupPhoto-44-small-768x560The LaNaSC group: (standing) Diego Colombara, Marcel Claro, Nicoleta Nicoara, Pedro Anacleto, Sascha Sadewasser, Deepanjan Sharma, João Gonçalo. (sitting) Bernhard Baumgartner, Daniel Brito, José Virtuoso, Marina Alves

We are always open for new team members. If you are interested in joining us and applying for external funding (i.e. MSCA, FCT, etc.), please contact Sascha by email.

RESEARCH LINES

Chalcopyrite, Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGSe), materials have excellent light absorbing properties and are used in the thin-film solar cell technology with the highest power conversion efficiency. We are aiming at incorporating novel concepts to improve thin film solar cells using nano- and micrometer structures into the device structure.

Currently, we focus our research efforts on two approaches:

  • We develop micro solar cells for micro-concentrator solar cell applications. The goal is to develop highly efficient solar cells with a significant reduction in usage of absorber materials. By concentrating the sunlight onto micrometer sized CIGSe solar cells, the materials consumption of the solar cell material can be significantly reduced, leading to cost improvements. We combine cleanroom technology with the growth of CIGSe materials to obtain the micro solar cells.
  • Development of nanostructures for chalcopyrite thin-film solar cells. The goal is to use passivation and light management techniques to improve solar cell performance. We use cleanroom technologies to introduce a passivation layer with contact holes in between the back contact and the absorber layer. This reduces back contact recombination and allows for thinner absorber layers, leading to cost savings for solar cell devices.

Project leader: Sascha Sadewasser
Team members: Pedro Anacleto, Ana Pérez Rodríguez, José Virtuoso, Marina Alves

We use ultrahigh vacuum scanning probe microscopy (UHV-SPM) methods to characterize the physical properties of chalcopyrite nanostructures and solar cell materials at the nanoscale.

Scanning probe methods include regular atomic force microscopy, Kelvin probe force microscopy, surface photovoltage measurements and scanning tunneling microscopy. We are especially interested in the interaction of light with solar cell materials at the nanoscale.

Scanning probe microscopy system

Scanning probe microscopy system

Project leader: Sascha Sadewasser
Team members: Nicoleta Nicoara, Deepanjan Sharma

We use vapor depositions and molecular beam epitaxy to grow 2D materials with a focus on semiconducting chalcogenide materials, e.g. MoS2, MoSe2, In2Se3, etc. Our goal is to extensively characterize these materials and implement them in optoelectronic devices, e.g. photodetectors.

Project leader: Sascha Sadewasser
Team members: Marcel Claro, Francisco de Matos

Chalcopyrite, Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGSe), materials have excellent light absorbing properties and are used in the thin-film solar cell technology with the highest power conversion efficiency. We are working with these materials at the nanometer length scale with the goal to increase power conversion efficiencies.

We aim to develop growth methods for chalcopyrite nanostructures, i.e. quantum dots and nanowires. The goal is to combine the excellent light absorbing properties of chalcopyrite-type materials with the quantum properties of nanostructured materials, and thereby provide a pathway for the enhancement of power conversion efficiencies of photovoltaic devices beyond the Shockley-Queisser limit. We use a molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) system to evaporate the constituent elements (Cu, In, Ga, Se) onto epitaxial substrates, where at low evaporation rates and thin coverage the formation of nano-sized crystallites occurs.

Molecular Beam Epitaxy system for Cu(In,Ga)Se2 nanostructure growth

Molecular Beam Epitaxy system for Cu(In,Ga)Se2 nanostructure growth

Project leader: Sascha Sadewasser
Team members: Marcel Claro

ON GOING RESEARCH PROJECTS

Semi-transparent solar cells for building-integrated photovoltaics

Semi-transparent photovoltaic windows will be developed based on narrow stripes of solar cells below the eye’s resolution, leading to a natural daylight spectrum on the inside and the ability to use solar cells with high power conversion efficiency.

This project will be carried out in close collaboration with the group of Prof. Phillip Dale at the University of Luxembourg.

Micro-concentrator thin film solar cells

The innovative idea of the MiconCell project is to combine highly-efficient CIGSe thin-film technology with the concentrator PV approach and shrink the size scale to the micrometer range. The benefits of this novel concept are materials savings of the critical raw materials In and Ga by a factor of about 100, and an efficiency increase by 2-6% due to the use of concentrated sunlight. The main goal of the project is to develop CIGSe micro-concentrator solar cells that are monolithically integrated with concentrator optics.

Correlated Analysis of Inorganic Solar Cells in and outside an Electron Microscope

The CASOLEM project aims to fabricate in-situ TEM cartridges for carrying out electrical measurements of CIGS solar cells. These chips will be developed in the Nanostructured Materials Group and will be universally adaptable, provide flexibility and significant advantages to the existing ones and will enable simultaneous
experimentation both inside and outside the TEM. Our role in this project is to provide CIGSe solar cell samples specially designed to test the developed cartridges.

Advanced architectures for ultra-thin high-efficiency CIGS solar cells with high manufacturability

https://www.arcigs-m.eu/

PREVIOUS RESEARCH PROJECTS

Super high efficiency Cu(In,Ga)Se2 thin-film solar cells approaching 25%

http://sharc25.eu/

Large-scale printing of novel photovolaics based on Cu(In,Ga)Se2 chalcopyrite.

http://www.printpv.org/

Large area two dimensional heterostructures for photodetectors.

This project is carried out in collaboration with the 2D Materials and Devices Group and the groups of Prof. Ricardo Ribeiro and Prof. Nuno Peres from the University of Minho.

Nanotechnology-based functional solutions.

PUBLICATIONS

  • 2020

    Colombara, Diego; Elanzeery, Hossam; Nicoara, Nicoleta; andMarcel Claro, Deepanjan Sharma; Schwarz, Torsten; Koprek, Anna; Wolter, Max Hilaire; Melchiorre, Michele; Sood, Mohit; Valle, Nathalie; Bondarchuk, Oleksandr; Babbe, Finn; Spindler, Conrad; Cojocaru-Miredin, Oana; Raabe, Dierk; Dale, Phillip J; Sadewasser, Sascha; Siebentritt, Susanne

    Chemical instability at chalcogenide surfaces impacts chalcopyrite devices well beyond the surface Journal Article

    Nature Communications, 11 , pp. 3634, 2020.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Sousa, Viviana; Gonçalves, Bruna F; Rosen, Yitzchak S; Virtuoso, José; Anacleto, Pedro; Cerqueira, Fátima M; Modin, Evgeny; Alpuim, Pedro; Lebedev, Oleg I; Magdassi, Shlomo; Sadewasser, Sascha; Kolen’ko, Yury V

    Over 6% Efficient Cu(In,Ga)Se2 Solar Cell Screen-Printed from Oxides on Fluorine-Doped Tin Oxide Journal Article

    ACS Applied Energy Materials, 6 , pp. 3120-3126, 2020.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Fuster, David; Anacleto, Pedro; Virtuoso, José; Zutter, Marco; Brito, Daniel; Alves, Marina; Aparicio, Luis; Marrón, David Fuertes; Briones, Fernando; Sadewasser, Sascha; García, Jorge M

    System for manufacturing complete Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells in situ under vacuum Journal Article

    Solar Energy, 198 , pp. 490-498, 2020.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Siebentritt, Susanne; Avancini, Enrico; Bär, Marcus; Bombsch, Jakob; Bourgeois, Emilie; Buecheler, Stephan; Carron, Romain; Castro, Celia; Duguay, Sebastien; Félix, Roberto; Handick, Evelyn; Hariskos, Dimitrios; Havu, Ville; Jackson, Philip; Komsa, Hannu-Pekka; Kunze, Thomas; Malitckaya, Maria; Menozzi, Roberto; Nesladek, Milos; Nicoara, Nicoleta; Puska, Martti; Raghuwanshi, Mohit; Pareige, Philippe; Sadewasser, Sascha; Sozzi, Giovanna; Tiwari, Ayodhya Nath; Ueda, Shigenori; Vilalta-Clemente, Arantxa; Weiss, Thomas Paul; Werner, Florian; Wilks, Regan G; Witte, Wolfram; Wolter, Max Hilaire

    Heavy alkali treatment of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells: surface versus bulk effects Journal Article

    Advanced Energy Materials, 10 , pp. 1903752, 2020.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

  • 2019

    Alves, Marina; í, Ana Pérez-Rodr; Dale, Phillip J; í, César Dom; Sadewasser, Sascha

    Thin-film micro-concentrator solar cells Journal Article

    Journal of Physics: Energy, 2 , pp. 012001, 2019.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Nicoara, Nicoleta; Manaligod, Roby; Jackson, Philip; Hariskos, Dimitrios; Witte, Wolfram; Sozzi, Giovanna; Menozzi, Roberto; Sadewasser, Sascha

    Direct evidence for grain boundary passivation in Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells through alkali-fluoride post deposition treatments Journal Article

    Nature Communications, 10 , pp. 3980, 2019.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Piotrowski, Marek; Borme, Jérôme; Carbó-Argibay, Enrique; Sharma, Deepanjan; Nicoara, Nicoleta; Sadewasser, Sascha; Petrovykh, Dmitri Y; Rodríguez-Abreu, Carlos; ', Yury Kolen V

    Template-directed self-organization of colloidal PbTe nanocrystals into pillars, conformal coatings, and self-supported membranes Journal Article

    Nanoscale Adv., 1 , pp. 3049-3055, 2019.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Zutter, Marco; Virtuoso, Jose; Anacleto, Pedro; Yasin, Liam; Alves, Marina; Madeira, Miguel; Bondarchuk, Oleksandr; Mitra, Saibal; Signes, David Fuster; Garcia, Jorge M; Briones, Fernando; Waechter, Rolf; Kiowski, Oliver; Hariskos, Dimitrios; Colombara, Diego; Sadewasser, Sascha

    Giant Voc Boost of Low-Temperature Annealed Cu(In,Ga)Se2 with Sputtered Zn(O,S) Buffers Journal Article

    physica status solidi (RRL) – Rapid Research Letters, 13 , pp. 1900145, 2019.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Limborço, H; Salomé, P M; Ribeiro-Andrade, R; Teixeira, J P; Nicoara, N; Abderrafi, K; Leitão, J P; Gonzalez, J C; Sadewasser, S

    CuInSe2 quantum dots grown by molecular beam epitaxy on amorphous SiO2 surfaces Journal Article

    Beilstein J. Nanotechnol., 10 , pp. 1103–1111, 2019.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Correia, David; Siopa, Daniel; Colombara, Diego; Tombolato, Sara; Salomé, Pedro M P; Abderrafi, Kamal; Anacleto, Pedro; Dale, Phillip J; Sadewasser, Sascha

    Area-selective electrodeposition of micro islands for CuInSe2-based photovoltaics Journal Article

    Results in Physics, 12 , pp. 2136-2140, 2019.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Ribeiro-Andrade, R; Sahayaraj, S; Vermang, B; Correia, M R; Sadewasser, S; González, J C; Fernandes, P A; Salomé, P M P

    Voids in Kesterites and the Influence of Lamellae Preparation by Focused Ion Beam for Transmission Electron Microscopy Analyses Journal Article

    IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, 9 , pp. 565-570, 2019.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

  • 2018

    Nicoara, Nicoleta; Harel, Sylvie; Lepetit, Thomas; Arzel, Ludovic; Barreau, Nicolas; Sadewasser, Sascha

    Impact of KF post-deposition treatment on ageing of the Cu(In,Ga)Se2 surface and its interface with CdS Journal Article

    ACS Applied Energy Materials, 1 , pp. 2681-2688, 2018.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Sadewasser, Sascha; Nicoara, Nicoleta; Solares, Santiago D

    Artifacts in time-resolved Kelvin probe force microscopy Journal Article

    Beilstein J. Nanotechnol., 9 , pp. 1272–1281, 2018.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Salomé, Pedro M P; Vermang, Bart; Ribeiro-Andrade, Rodrigo; Teixeira, Jennifer P; Cunha, José M V; Mendes, Manuel J; Haque, Sirazul; Borme, Jêrome; Águas, Hugo; Fortunato, Elvira; Martins, Rodrigo; González, Juan C; Leitão, Joaquim P; Fernandes, Paulo A; Edoff, Marika; Sadewasser, Sascha

    Passivation of Interfaces in Thin Film Solar Cells: Understanding the Effects of a Nanostructured Rear Point Contact Layer Journal Article

    Advanced Materials Interfaces, 5 , pp. 1701101, 2018.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

  • 2017

    Nicoara, Nicoleta; Kunze, Thomas; Jackson, Philip; Hariskos, Dimitrios; Duarte, Roberto Félix; Wilks, Regan G; Witte, Wolfram; Bär, Marcus; Sadewasser, Sascha

    Evidence for chemical and electronic non-uniformities in the formation of the interface of RbF-treated Cu(In,Ga)Se2 with CdS Journal Article

    ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 9 , pp. 44173−44180, 2017.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Barreau, Nicolas; Frelon, Agathe; Lepetit, Thomas; Gautron, Eric; Gautier, Nicolas; Ribeiro-Andrade, Rodrigo; Nicoara, Nicoleta; Sadewasser, Sascha; Zabierowski, Pawel; Arzel, Ludovic; Choubrac, Léo; Harel, Sylvie; Deudon, Catherine; Latouche, Camille; Jobic, Stéphane; Caldes, Maite; Assmann, Lionel; Tsoulka, Polyxeni; Péan, Emmanuel V; Lorthioir, Justine; Geschier, Frédéric; Braems, Isabelle; Moret, Matthieu; Briot, Olivier; Ouvrard, Guy

    High efficiency solar cell based on full PVD processed Cu(In,Ga)Se2/CdIn2S4 heterojunction Journal Article

    Solar RRL, 1 , pp. 1700140, 2017.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Abderrafi, K; Andrade, R.-Ribeiro; Nicoara, N; Cerqueira, M F; Debs, Gonzalez M; Limborço, H; Salomé, P M P; Gonzalez, J C; Briones, F; Garcia, J M; Sadewasser, S

    Epitaxial CuInSe2 thin films grown by molecular beam epitaxy and migration enhanced epitaxy Journal Article

    J. Crystal Growth, 475 , pp. 300-306, 2017.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Sadewasser, S

    Geometry and materials considerations for thin film micro-concentrator solar cells Journal Article

    Solar Energy, 159 , pp. 186-191, 2017.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Salomé, P M P; Ribeiro-Andrade, R; Teixeira, J P; Keller, J; Törndahl, T; Nicoara, N; Edoff, M; González, J C; Leitão, J P; Sadewasser, S

    Cd and Cu inter-diffusion in Cu(In,Ga)Se2/CdS hetero-interfaces Journal Article

    IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, Vol. 7 (no 3), pp. 858-863 p., 2017, ISSN: ISSN 2156-3381.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Nicoara, N; Lepetit, Th.; Arzel, L; Harel, S; Barreau, N; Sadewasser, S

    Effect of the KF post-deposition treatment on grain boundary properties in Cu(In, Ga)Se2 thin films Journal Article

    Scientific Reports 7, (Article number: 41361), 2017.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Teixeira, Keller Törndahl Sadewasser Salomé J T S P M P J P; Leitão, J P

    Influence of CdS and ZnSnO Buffer Layers on the Photoluminescence of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 Thin Films Journal Article

    IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, Volume: 7 (Issue: 2), pp. 670 - 675, 2017.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Salomé, Sadewasser S P; Rodriguez-Alvarez, H

    Materials efficient deposition and heat management of CuInSe2 micro-concentrator solar cells Journal Article

    Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Volume 159 , pp. Pages 496-502, 2017.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Keller, Törndahl Teixeira Nicoara R-Ribeiro Andrade Stroppa González Edoff Leitão Sadewasser Salomé T J P N D G J C M J P S P M P J

    CdS and Zn1−xSnxOy buffer layers for CIGS solar cells Journal Article

    Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Volume 159 , pp. Pages 272-281, 2017.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

  • 2016

    Salomé, Teixeira Stroppa R.-Ribeiro Andrade Nicoara Abderrafi Leitão González Limborço J P D N K J J C H P M P; Sadewasser, S

    Synthesis and formation mechanism of CuInSe2 nanowires by one-step self-catalysed evaporation growth Journal Article

    CrystEngComm, Vol. 18 (Issue 37), pp. 7147-7153, 2016.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    da Salomé, Sousa Fernandes Sadewasser Cunha Teixeira M G P A S A F J P P M P; Leitão, J P

    Optical and structural investigation of inline Cu2ZnSnS4 based solar cells Journal Article

    Phys. Status Solidi B, Volume 253 (Issue 11), pp. Pages 2129–2135, 2016.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Ren, Donzel-Gargand Ch. Frisk Joel Salomé Borme Sadewasser Ch. Platzer-Björkman Vermang O J P J S B Y; Edoff, M

    Rear surface optimization of CZTS solar cells by use of a passivation layer with nano-sized point openings Journal Article

    IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, Volume: 6 (Issue: 1), pp. 332 - 336, 2016, ISSN: 2156-3381.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

  • 2015

    Rodriguez-Alvarez, Sadewasser Salomé S P M P H

    Incorporation of alkali metals in chalcogenide solar cells Journal Article

    Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells, 143 , pp. 9, 2015.

    Links | BibTeX

    Salomé, Viktor Fjällström Tobias Törndaht Uwe Zimmermann Marika Edoff Piotr Szaniawski Pedro

    Influence of varying Cu content on growth and performance of Ga-graded Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar Cells Journal Article

    IEEE J. PV, 5 , pp. 1775, 2015.

    Links | BibTeX

    da da Sánchez, Ribeiro Fernandes Salomé Cunha Leitão Silva González Abelenda G M P A P M P A F J P M I N J C A M

    Anomalous persistent photoconductivity in Cu2ZnSnS4 thin films and solar cells Journal Article

    Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells, 137 , pp. 164, 2015.

    Links | BibTeX

    Szaniawski, Vermang Salomé Rostvall Zimmermann Fjällström B P M P F U V P; M.Edoff,

    Recovery after potential induced degradation of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells with CdS and Zn(O,S) buffer layers Journal Article

    IEEE J. Photovoltaics, 5 , pp. 664, 2015.

    BibTeX

GROUP LEADER

INL-Portraits-64-copy

THE TEAM

Nicoleta Nicoara
Staff Researcher

Pedro Anacleto
Research Engineer

Ishwor Khatri
Research Fellow

Alessandro Cavalli
Research Fellow (MSCA-IF)

José Virtuoso
Bolseiro de Investigação

Marina Alves
Bolseiro de Investigação

Daniel Brito
PhD Fellow (FCT-QPI)

Diego Colombara
Associated group member

Former Group Members

Francisco de Matos
Bolseiro de Investigação (2019)

Diego Colombara
Research Fellow (2017 – 2019)

Daniel Brito
MSc student (2019)

Marina Alves
MSc student (2018)

Marco Zutter
MSc student (2018)

José Romero
Bolseiro de Investigação (2017)

Umesh Gomes
Research Fellow (2017)

Paulo Salvador
MSc student (2016)

David Correia
MSc student (2016)

Rodrigo Ribeiro-Andrade
Visiting Scientist (2015-2016)

Vanessa Iglesias
Cofund Fellow (2014-2016)

Henrique Limborço
Visiting Scientist (2014-2015)

Humberto Rodriguez-Alvarez
Research Fellow (2012-2014)

David Fuertes Marrón
Visiting Scientist (2013)

Erasmus Experience at INL

LaNaSC – Laboratory for Nanostructured Solar Cells

The Laboratory for Nanostructured Solar Cells (LaNaSC) develops nano- and micro-structures of chalcopyrite-type semiconductors (Cu(In,Ga)Se2) for application in photovoltaic energy conversion.

We currently follow four research lines:

  • Development of advanced thin-film solar cells by the implementation of micro- and nanostructures.
  • Development and application of scanning probe microscopy techniques for the characterization of solar cell materials and light-induced phenomena at the nanometer scale.
  • Development of 2D materials for optoelectronis applications.
  • Development of growth methods for chalcopyrite nanostructures i.e. quantum dots and nanowires. The goal is to combine the excellent light absorbing properties of chalcopyrite-type materials with the quantum properties of nanostructured materials, and thereby provide a pathway for the enhancement of power conversion efficiencies of photovoltaic devices beyond the Shockley-Queisser limit.

The laboratory is equipped with various materials preparation facilities consisting in a molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) setup for the growth of nanostructured chalcopyrite-type semiconductors, a hybrid sputter system for Cu(In,Ga)Se2, Mo, and ZnO, and an evaporation system for Cu(In,Ga)Se2 thin films.

The lab also operates an ultra-high vacuum scanning probe microscope, combining STM, AFM, and KPFM facilities with surface photovoltage methods to study light-induced phenomena at the nanometer scale.

INL_GroupPhoto-44-small-768x560The LaNaSC group: (standing) Diego Colombara, Marcel Claro, Nicoleta Nicoara, Pedro Anacleto, Sascha Sadewasser, Deepanjan Sharma, João Gonçalo. (sitting) Bernhard Baumgartner, Daniel Brito, José Virtuoso, Marina Alves

We are always open for new team members. If you are interested in joining us and applying for external funding (i.e. MSCA, FCT, etc.), please contact Sascha by email.

RESEARCH LINES

Chalcopyrite, Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGSe), materials have excellent light absorbing properties and are used in the thin-film solar cell technology with the highest power conversion efficiency. We are aiming at incorporating novel concepts to improve thin film solar cells using nano- and micrometer structures into the device structure.

Currently, we focus our research efforts on two approaches:

  • We develop micro solar cells for micro-concentrator solar cell applications. The goal is to develop highly efficient solar cells with a significant reduction in usage of absorber materials. By concentrating the sunlight onto micrometer sized CIGSe solar cells, the materials consumption of the solar cell material can be significantly reduced, leading to cost improvements. We combine cleanroom technology with the growth of CIGSe materials to obtain the micro solar cells.
  • Development of nanostructures for chalcopyrite thin-film solar cells. The goal is to use passivation and light management techniques to improve solar cell performance. We use cleanroom technologies to introduce a passivation layer with contact holes in between the back contact and the absorber layer. This reduces back contact recombination and allows for thinner absorber layers, leading to cost savings for solar cell devices.

Project leader: Sascha Sadewasser
Team members: Pedro Anacleto, Ana Pérez Rodríguez, José Virtuoso, Marina Alves

We use ultrahigh vacuum scanning probe microscopy (UHV-SPM) methods to characterize the physical properties of chalcopyrite nanostructures and solar cell materials at the nanoscale.

Scanning probe methods include regular atomic force microscopy, Kelvin probe force microscopy, surface photovoltage measurements and scanning tunneling microscopy. We are especially interested in the interaction of light with solar cell materials at the nanoscale.

Scanning probe microscopy system

Scanning probe microscopy system

Project leader: Sascha Sadewasser
Team members: Nicoleta Nicoara, Deepanjan Sharma

We use vapor depositions and molecular beam epitaxy to grow 2D materials with a focus on semiconducting chalcogenide materials, e.g. MoS2, MoSe2, In2Se3, etc. Our goal is to extensively characterize these materials and implement them in optoelectronic devices, e.g. photodetectors.

Project leader: Sascha Sadewasser
Team members: Marcel Claro, Francisco de Matos

Chalcopyrite, Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGSe), materials have excellent light absorbing properties and are used in the thin-film solar cell technology with the highest power conversion efficiency. We are working with these materials at the nanometer length scale with the goal to increase power conversion efficiencies.

We aim to develop growth methods for chalcopyrite nanostructures, i.e. quantum dots and nanowires. The goal is to combine the excellent light absorbing properties of chalcopyrite-type materials with the quantum properties of nanostructured materials, and thereby provide a pathway for the enhancement of power conversion efficiencies of photovoltaic devices beyond the Shockley-Queisser limit. We use a molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) system to evaporate the constituent elements (Cu, In, Ga, Se) onto epitaxial substrates, where at low evaporation rates and thin coverage the formation of nano-sized crystallites occurs.

Molecular Beam Epitaxy system for Cu(In,Ga)Se2 nanostructure growth

Molecular Beam Epitaxy system for Cu(In,Ga)Se2 nanostructure growth

Project leader: Sascha Sadewasser
Team members: Marcel Claro

ON GOING RESEARCH PROJECTS

Semi-transparent solar cells for building-integrated photovoltaics

Semi-transparent photovoltaic windows will be developed based on narrow stripes of solar cells below the eye’s resolution, leading to a natural daylight spectrum on the inside and the ability to use solar cells with high power conversion efficiency.

This project will be carried out in close collaboration with the group of Prof. Phillip Dale at the University of Luxembourg.

Micro-concentrator thin film solar cells

The innovative idea of the MiconCell project is to combine highly-efficient CIGSe thin-film technology with the concentrator PV approach and shrink the size scale to the micrometer range. The benefits of this novel concept are materials savings of the critical raw materials In and Ga by a factor of about 100, and an efficiency increase by 2-6% due to the use of concentrated sunlight. The main goal of the project is to develop CIGSe micro-concentrator solar cells that are monolithically integrated with concentrator optics.

Correlated Analysis of Inorganic Solar Cells in and outside an Electron Microscope

The CASOLEM project aims to fabricate in-situ TEM cartridges for carrying out electrical measurements of CIGS solar cells. These chips will be developed in the Nanostructured Materials Group and will be universally adaptable, provide flexibility and significant advantages to the existing ones and will enable simultaneous
experimentation both inside and outside the TEM. Our role in this project is to provide CIGSe solar cell samples specially designed to test the developed cartridges.

Advanced architectures for ultra-thin high-efficiency CIGS solar cells with high manufacturability

https://www.arcigs-m.eu/

Large area two dimensional heterostructures for photodetectors.

This project is carried out in collaboration with the 2D Materials and Devices Group and the groups of Prof. Ricardo Ribeiro and Prof. Nuno Peres from the University of Minho.

Nanotechnology-based functional solutions.

PREVIOUS RESEARCH PROJECTS

Super high efficiency Cu(In,Ga)Se2 thin-film solar cells approaching 25%

http://sharc25.eu/

Large-scale printing of novel photovolaics based on Cu(In,Ga)Se2 chalcopyrite.

http://www.printpv.org/

Large area two dimensional heterostructures for photodetectors.

This project is carried out in collaboration with the 2D Materials and Devices Group and the groups of Prof. Ricardo Ribeiro and Prof. Nuno Peres from the University of Minho.

Nanotechnology-based functional solutions.

PUBLICATIONS

  • 2020

    Colombara, Diego; Elanzeery, Hossam; Nicoara, Nicoleta; andMarcel Claro, Deepanjan Sharma; Schwarz, Torsten; Koprek, Anna; Wolter, Max Hilaire; Melchiorre, Michele; Sood, Mohit; Valle, Nathalie; Bondarchuk, Oleksandr; Babbe, Finn; Spindler, Conrad; Cojocaru-Miredin, Oana; Raabe, Dierk; Dale, Phillip J; Sadewasser, Sascha; Siebentritt, Susanne

    Chemical instability at chalcogenide surfaces impacts chalcopyrite devices well beyond the surface Journal Article

    Nature Communications, 11 , pp. 3634, 2020.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Sousa, Viviana; Gonçalves, Bruna F; Rosen, Yitzchak S; Virtuoso, José; Anacleto, Pedro; Cerqueira, Fátima M; Modin, Evgeny; Alpuim, Pedro; Lebedev, Oleg I; Magdassi, Shlomo; Sadewasser, Sascha; Kolen’ko, Yury V

    Over 6% Efficient Cu(In,Ga)Se2 Solar Cell Screen-Printed from Oxides on Fluorine-Doped Tin Oxide Journal Article

    ACS Applied Energy Materials, 6 , pp. 3120-3126, 2020.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Fuster, David; Anacleto, Pedro; Virtuoso, José; Zutter, Marco; Brito, Daniel; Alves, Marina; Aparicio, Luis; Marrón, David Fuertes; Briones, Fernando; Sadewasser, Sascha; García, Jorge M

    System for manufacturing complete Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells in situ under vacuum Journal Article

    Solar Energy, 198 , pp. 490-498, 2020.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Siebentritt, Susanne; Avancini, Enrico; Bär, Marcus; Bombsch, Jakob; Bourgeois, Emilie; Buecheler, Stephan; Carron, Romain; Castro, Celia; Duguay, Sebastien; Félix, Roberto; Handick, Evelyn; Hariskos, Dimitrios; Havu, Ville; Jackson, Philip; Komsa, Hannu-Pekka; Kunze, Thomas; Malitckaya, Maria; Menozzi, Roberto; Nesladek, Milos; Nicoara, Nicoleta; Puska, Martti; Raghuwanshi, Mohit; Pareige, Philippe; Sadewasser, Sascha; Sozzi, Giovanna; Tiwari, Ayodhya Nath; Ueda, Shigenori; Vilalta-Clemente, Arantxa; Weiss, Thomas Paul; Werner, Florian; Wilks, Regan G; Witte, Wolfram; Wolter, Max Hilaire

    Heavy alkali treatment of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells: surface versus bulk effects Journal Article

    Advanced Energy Materials, 10 , pp. 1903752, 2020.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

  • 2019

    Alves, Marina; í, Ana Pérez-Rodr; Dale, Phillip J; í, César Dom; Sadewasser, Sascha

    Thin-film micro-concentrator solar cells Journal Article

    Journal of Physics: Energy, 2 , pp. 012001, 2019.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Nicoara, Nicoleta; Manaligod, Roby; Jackson, Philip; Hariskos, Dimitrios; Witte, Wolfram; Sozzi, Giovanna; Menozzi, Roberto; Sadewasser, Sascha

    Direct evidence for grain boundary passivation in Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells through alkali-fluoride post deposition treatments Journal Article

    Nature Communications, 10 , pp. 3980, 2019.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Piotrowski, Marek; Borme, Jérôme; Carbó-Argibay, Enrique; Sharma, Deepanjan; Nicoara, Nicoleta; Sadewasser, Sascha; Petrovykh, Dmitri Y; Rodríguez-Abreu, Carlos; ', Yury Kolen V

    Template-directed self-organization of colloidal PbTe nanocrystals into pillars, conformal coatings, and self-supported membranes Journal Article

    Nanoscale Adv., 1 , pp. 3049-3055, 2019.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Zutter, Marco; Virtuoso, Jose; Anacleto, Pedro; Yasin, Liam; Alves, Marina; Madeira, Miguel; Bondarchuk, Oleksandr; Mitra, Saibal; Signes, David Fuster; Garcia, Jorge M; Briones, Fernando; Waechter, Rolf; Kiowski, Oliver; Hariskos, Dimitrios; Colombara, Diego; Sadewasser, Sascha

    Giant Voc Boost of Low-Temperature Annealed Cu(In,Ga)Se2 with Sputtered Zn(O,S) Buffers Journal Article

    physica status solidi (RRL) – Rapid Research Letters, 13 , pp. 1900145, 2019.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Limborço, H; Salomé, P M; Ribeiro-Andrade, R; Teixeira, J P; Nicoara, N; Abderrafi, K; Leitão, J P; Gonzalez, J C; Sadewasser, S

    CuInSe2 quantum dots grown by molecular beam epitaxy on amorphous SiO2 surfaces Journal Article

    Beilstein J. Nanotechnol., 10 , pp. 1103–1111, 2019.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Correia, David; Siopa, Daniel; Colombara, Diego; Tombolato, Sara; Salomé, Pedro M P; Abderrafi, Kamal; Anacleto, Pedro; Dale, Phillip J; Sadewasser, Sascha

    Area-selective electrodeposition of micro islands for CuInSe2-based photovoltaics Journal Article

    Results in Physics, 12 , pp. 2136-2140, 2019.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Ribeiro-Andrade, R; Sahayaraj, S; Vermang, B; Correia, M R; Sadewasser, S; González, J C; Fernandes, P A; Salomé, P M P

    Voids in Kesterites and the Influence of Lamellae Preparation by Focused Ion Beam for Transmission Electron Microscopy Analyses Journal Article

    IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, 9 , pp. 565-570, 2019.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

  • 2018

    Nicoara, Nicoleta; Harel, Sylvie; Lepetit, Thomas; Arzel, Ludovic; Barreau, Nicolas; Sadewasser, Sascha

    Impact of KF post-deposition treatment on ageing of the Cu(In,Ga)Se2 surface and its interface with CdS Journal Article

    ACS Applied Energy Materials, 1 , pp. 2681-2688, 2018.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Sadewasser, Sascha; Nicoara, Nicoleta; Solares, Santiago D

    Artifacts in time-resolved Kelvin probe force microscopy Journal Article

    Beilstein J. Nanotechnol., 9 , pp. 1272–1281, 2018.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Salomé, Pedro M P; Vermang, Bart; Ribeiro-Andrade, Rodrigo; Teixeira, Jennifer P; Cunha, José M V; Mendes, Manuel J; Haque, Sirazul; Borme, Jêrome; Águas, Hugo; Fortunato, Elvira; Martins, Rodrigo; González, Juan C; Leitão, Joaquim P; Fernandes, Paulo A; Edoff, Marika; Sadewasser, Sascha

    Passivation of Interfaces in Thin Film Solar Cells: Understanding the Effects of a Nanostructured Rear Point Contact Layer Journal Article

    Advanced Materials Interfaces, 5 , pp. 1701101, 2018.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

  • 2017

    Nicoara, Nicoleta; Kunze, Thomas; Jackson, Philip; Hariskos, Dimitrios; Duarte, Roberto Félix; Wilks, Regan G; Witte, Wolfram; Bär, Marcus; Sadewasser, Sascha

    Evidence for chemical and electronic non-uniformities in the formation of the interface of RbF-treated Cu(In,Ga)Se2 with CdS Journal Article

    ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 9 , pp. 44173−44180, 2017.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Barreau, Nicolas; Frelon, Agathe; Lepetit, Thomas; Gautron, Eric; Gautier, Nicolas; Ribeiro-Andrade, Rodrigo; Nicoara, Nicoleta; Sadewasser, Sascha; Zabierowski, Pawel; Arzel, Ludovic; Choubrac, Léo; Harel, Sylvie; Deudon, Catherine; Latouche, Camille; Jobic, Stéphane; Caldes, Maite; Assmann, Lionel; Tsoulka, Polyxeni; Péan, Emmanuel V; Lorthioir, Justine; Geschier, Frédéric; Braems, Isabelle; Moret, Matthieu; Briot, Olivier; Ouvrard, Guy

    High efficiency solar cell based on full PVD processed Cu(In,Ga)Se2/CdIn2S4 heterojunction Journal Article

    Solar RRL, 1 , pp. 1700140, 2017.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Abderrafi, K; Andrade, R.-Ribeiro; Nicoara, N; Cerqueira, M F; Debs, Gonzalez M; Limborço, H; Salomé, P M P; Gonzalez, J C; Briones, F; Garcia, J M; Sadewasser, S

    Epitaxial CuInSe2 thin films grown by molecular beam epitaxy and migration enhanced epitaxy Journal Article

    J. Crystal Growth, 475 , pp. 300-306, 2017.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Sadewasser, S

    Geometry and materials considerations for thin film micro-concentrator solar cells Journal Article

    Solar Energy, 159 , pp. 186-191, 2017.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Salomé, P M P; Ribeiro-Andrade, R; Teixeira, J P; Keller, J; Törndahl, T; Nicoara, N; Edoff, M; González, J C; Leitão, J P; Sadewasser, S

    Cd and Cu inter-diffusion in Cu(In,Ga)Se2/CdS hetero-interfaces Journal Article

    IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, Vol. 7 (no 3), pp. 858-863 p., 2017, ISSN: ISSN 2156-3381.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Nicoara, N; Lepetit, Th.; Arzel, L; Harel, S; Barreau, N; Sadewasser, S

    Effect of the KF post-deposition treatment on grain boundary properties in Cu(In, Ga)Se2 thin films Journal Article

    Scientific Reports 7, (Article number: 41361), 2017.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Teixeira, Keller Törndahl Sadewasser Salomé J T S P M P J P; Leitão, J P

    Influence of CdS and ZnSnO Buffer Layers on the Photoluminescence of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 Thin Films Journal Article

    IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, Volume: 7 (Issue: 2), pp. 670 - 675, 2017.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Salomé, Sadewasser S P; Rodriguez-Alvarez, H

    Materials efficient deposition and heat management of CuInSe2 micro-concentrator solar cells Journal Article

    Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Volume 159 , pp. Pages 496-502, 2017.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Keller, Törndahl Teixeira Nicoara R-Ribeiro Andrade Stroppa González Edoff Leitão Sadewasser Salomé T J P N D G J C M J P S P M P J

    CdS and Zn1−xSnxOy buffer layers for CIGS solar cells Journal Article

    Solar Energy Materials and Solar Cells, Volume 159 , pp. Pages 272-281, 2017.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

  • 2016

    Salomé, Teixeira Stroppa R.-Ribeiro Andrade Nicoara Abderrafi Leitão González Limborço J P D N K J J C H P M P; Sadewasser, S

    Synthesis and formation mechanism of CuInSe2 nanowires by one-step self-catalysed evaporation growth Journal Article

    CrystEngComm, Vol. 18 (Issue 37), pp. 7147-7153, 2016.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    da Salomé, Sousa Fernandes Sadewasser Cunha Teixeira M G P A S A F J P P M P; Leitão, J P

    Optical and structural investigation of inline Cu2ZnSnS4 based solar cells Journal Article

    Phys. Status Solidi B, Volume 253 (Issue 11), pp. Pages 2129–2135, 2016.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

    Ren, Donzel-Gargand Ch. Frisk Joel Salomé Borme Sadewasser Ch. Platzer-Björkman Vermang O J P J S B Y; Edoff, M

    Rear surface optimization of CZTS solar cells by use of a passivation layer with nano-sized point openings Journal Article

    IEEE Journal of Photovoltaics, Volume: 6 (Issue: 1), pp. 332 - 336, 2016, ISSN: 2156-3381.

    Abstract | Links | BibTeX

  • 2015

    Rodriguez-Alvarez, Sadewasser Salomé S P M P H

    Incorporation of alkali metals in chalcogenide solar cells Journal Article

    Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells, 143 , pp. 9, 2015.

    Links | BibTeX

    Salomé, Viktor Fjällström Tobias Törndaht Uwe Zimmermann Marika Edoff Piotr Szaniawski Pedro

    Influence of varying Cu content on growth and performance of Ga-graded Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar Cells Journal Article

    IEEE J. PV, 5 , pp. 1775, 2015.

    Links | BibTeX

    da da Sánchez, Ribeiro Fernandes Salomé Cunha Leitão Silva González Abelenda G M P A P M P A F J P M I N J C A M

    Anomalous persistent photoconductivity in Cu2ZnSnS4 thin films and solar cells Journal Article

    Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells, 137 , pp. 164, 2015.

    Links | BibTeX

    Szaniawski, Vermang Salomé Rostvall Zimmermann Fjällström B P M P F U V P; M.Edoff,

    Recovery after potential induced degradation of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 solar cells with CdS and Zn(O,S) buffer layers Journal Article

    IEEE J. Photovoltaics, 5 , pp. 664, 2015.

    BibTeX

GROUP LEADER

INL-Portraits-64-copy

THE TEAM

Nicoleta Nicoara
Staff Researcher

Pedro Anacleto
Research Engineer

Deepanjan Sharma
Research Fellow

Alessandro Cavalli
Research Fellow (MSCA-IF)

Marcel Claro
Research Fellow

Ana Pérez
Research Fellow

José Virtuoso
Bolseiro de Investigação

Marina Alves
Bolseiro de Investigação

Francisco de Matos
Bolseiro de Investigação

Diego Colombara
Associated group member

Former Group Members

Daniel Brito
MSc student (2019)

Marina Alves
MSc student (2018)

Marco Zutter
MSc student (2018)

José Romero
Bolseiro de Investigação (2017)

Umesh Gomes
Research Fellow (2017)

Paulo Salvador
MSc student (2016)

David Correia
MSc student (2016)

Rodrigo Ribeiro-Andrade
Visiting Scientist (2015-2016)

Vanessa Iglesias
Cofund Fellow (2014-2016)

Henrique Limborço
Visiting Scientist (2014-2015)

Humberto Rodriguez-Alvarez
Research Fellow (2012-2014)

David Fuertes Marrón
Visiting Scientist (2013)