While solar-panel installations have impressively increased throughout the last decade, corresponding to a total electrical peak power of 40 GWp in 2010 (thereof 17 GWp in Germany) further breakthroughs in efficiencies and in low-cost materials and processes are necessary. Optics & Photonics research can contribute in various ways to the goal of affordable future solar electricity: Light management by means of tailored plasmonic or dielectric structures can reduce the costs since it allows for a thickness reduction of the solar cells. Smart light management could also give a further boost for highest efficiency solar cells based on III-V-epitaxial films which are used in photovoltaic concentrators. Another central aspect is novel materials with improved photovoltaic properties. Cost reduction can not only be achieved by improved efficiencies but also by reduced deposition costs. Thus the study of semiconductors that can be deposited by cost effective methods is another important aspect of solar cell research.
Future Aims & Goals
We have extended our facilities for the fabrication and the characterization of novel photovoltaic materials and cells and have implemented several new laboratories over the last years. With regard to novel materials, we are ramping up activities in solution processable materials (perovskite and organic semiconductors) and are covering all aspects from novel materials over device architectures towards module fabrication and building integration. RA V has furthermore started significant activities on tandem solar cells combining perovskite semiconductors with silicon and CIGS solar cells. The development of low-cost, high efficiency all printed foils for light and spectrum management will be an important goal of our research.
Speaker of Research Area V
ulrich lemmer∂kit edu