Belgian nanotechnology research group Imec said today that a researcher at Imomec, Imec's associated lab at the Hasselt University, has received a EUR-2-million (USD 2.2m) EU grant to improve copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) solar cells.
Bart Vermang has been awarded a five-year ERC Starting Grant by the European Research Council (ERC) to apply techniques from silicon solar cell processing to improve the efficiency, cost and stability of the CIGS thin-film cells.
While combining flexible use with high efficiency, these cells still have stability and reliability issues, Imec said. Vermang proposes to implement advanced surface techniques, introducing structures and layers also used in silicon solar technology, that should lead to cells with conversion efficiencies between 23% and 26% with improved stability and reliability, according to the announcement.
Thin-film solar cells are suitable for building-integrated energy generation, which is a key technology for Europe as regulations will require new buildings to become near energy neutral by 2020, said Imec.