Two scientists from European nanoelectronics centre Imec have been awarded European Research Council (ERC) grants totalling €3.5 million for studies in thin film technology.
Bart Vermang at the centre will receive €2 million over five years to apply techniques from silicon solar cell processing to modify thin-film solar cells, improving their efficiency, cost and stability. In addition, Kris Myny received €1.5 million to develop thin-film transistor technology.
Vermang’s research is targeting CIGS(e) solar cells. These are efficient, but still have stability and reliability issues. Vermang proposes to modify the design of these solar cells by implementing advanced surface techniques, introducing structures and layers also used in silicon solar technology. This involves adding nanostructures to capture more light in the cell’s active layers. Vermang’s research should lead to cells with conversion efficiencies between 23 and 26 per cent.
Myny is looking to introduce design innovations of unipolar n-type transistor circuits based on amorphous indium-gallium-zinc-oxide as semiconductor.