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Fraunhofer ISE, Freiburg hit ‘record’ 15.8% efficiency for organic PV cell...

18 Jul 2023

...while Fraunhofer IPMS and Applied Materials launch European Semiconductor Metrology Hub.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) and the Materials Research Center FMF at the University of Freiburg have improved on their own organic photovoltaics efficiency record, announced back in September 2020, for an organic solar cell with an area of one square centimeter.

Announced this week is a new record efficiency of 15.8 per cent – the research team at Fraunhofer ISE has once again set the world record in this category.

Dr. Uli Würfel, department head at Fraunhofer ISE and group head at the Materials Research Center FMF, University of Freiburg, leads the research on organic solar cells.

Dr. Würfel said, “We achieved the improvement in the record-breaking solar cell primarily by applying an anti-reflection coating, which allows more light to be absorbed in the photoactive layer of the cell, thus generating a higher current.”

The thin-film system, which was deposited using a sputtering process, was developed in house by researchers from a related department at Fraunhofer ISE.

“Cross-thematic work is the great strength of the institute,” said Prof. Dr. Andreas Bett, Institute Director at Fraunhofer ISE. “Parallel in-house research on different photovoltaic technologies and their respective manufacturing processes inspires collaboration and synergy effects.”

Within the research project See-Through PV: Development of organic solar modules with high visual transparency, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK), the scientists are investigating potential materials for the absorber layer and the front and rear electrodes which are highly transparent to visible light.

European Semiconductor Metrology Hub launches in Germany

Materials engineering firm Applied Materials, and Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems (IPMS), Germany’s advanced 300mm semiconductor research center, have announced a collaboration to create Europe´s largest technology hub for semiconductor metrology and process analysis.

To be located at the IPMS’s Center Nanoelectronic Technologies in Dresden, the technology hub is situated in the heart of Silicon Saxony, Europe’s largest semiconductor cluster. It will be equipped with Applied Materials’ latest eBeam metrology equipment, including its VeritySEM CD-SEM (critical dimension scanning electron microscope) systems, and staffed by Applied engineers and R&D experts.

“Fraunhofer IPMS and its partners will benefit from access to Applied’s industry-leading eBeam metrology systems,” commented Dr. Benjamin Uhlig-Lilienthal, Head of Business Unit Next Generation Computing at Fraunhofer IPMS. “The new technology hub will offer advanced wafer-level metrology in our industrial CMOS environment with Fraunhofer IPMS’s unique ability to loop wafers directly with semiconductor manufacturers.”

James Robson, Corporate VP for Applied Materials Europe, said, “Our collaborative metrology hub will accelerate learning cycles and the development of new applications for the Fraunhofer Institute, Applied Materials and our customers and partners in Europe. This technology hub will have the capability to test and qualify processes on a variety of substrate materials and wafer thicknesses critical to applications across the diverse European semiconductor landscape.”

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