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Flamac, Imec Team to Develop New Solar Materials

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LEUVEN, Belgium, Dec. 29, 2011 — The Belgian research centers Imec and Flamac have developed a novel semiconductor material for solar cell applications. The collaborators have been screening materials in search of an alternative to the standard copper indium gallium and selenium (CIGS) used for solar cells.

Imec, based in Leuven, specializes in nanoelectronics; Flamac, based in Zwijnaarde, develops high-throughput methodologies for the chemical and materials industries. Flamac is a division of SIM vzw (Strategic Initiative Materials of Flanders).

Flamac’s recently installed physical vapor deposition (PVD)/plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PE-CVD) coater enables automated deposition of a variety of thin-film materials. The platform consists of eight process chambers for studying PVD and PE-CVD coating processes. When combined with a variety of high-throughput analytic tools, the platform performs accelerated screening of novel materials.

Imec’s research on solar cells focuses on improving the efficiency and manufacturability of a number of key technologies, most notably silicon-based solar cells, thin-film solar cells such as organic solar cells, and printed inorganic cells based on nanoparticle inks. Imec’s thin-film solar cell activities are integrated in the Solliance collaboration platform and the SIM SoPPoM program.

Solliance’s objective is to strengthen the position of the Eindhoven-Leuven-Aachen triangle (ELAT region) as a world player in thin-film photovoltaics. Solliance aims to achieve this by joint use of state-of-the-art infrastructure, alignment of research programs and close cooperation with the solar business community. The SIM SoPPoM program, supported by the Flemish government, has the goal of creating new, promising printing technologies that enable more efficient and cheaper processes, promoting the further spread of photovoltaic technology.

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Dec 2011
AachenBelgiumCIGScopper indium gallium seleniumEindhovenELAT regionenergyEuropeFlamacFlemish Governmentgreen photonicsIMECLeuvenmaterialsnanoelectronicsPE-CVDphotovoltaicsphysical vapor depositionplasma-enhanced chemical vapor depositionPVPVDPVD/PE-CVD coaterResearch & TechnologySIM SoPPoM programSIM vzwsolar cellsSollianceStrategic Initiative Materialsthin filmsthin-film photovoltaics

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