Description: In 1982, the Flemish Government set up a comprehensive program in the field of microelectronics to strengthen the microelectronics industry in Flanders. IMEC has grown to become the world-leading independent research centre in nanoelectronics and nanotechnology. In 2008 IMEC’s own revenues amounted 224 million EUR and had a total staff of 1,771 employees of which 184 PhD students and 391 industrial residents. The SCT group (Solar Cell Technology) within IMEC performs new research on materials and concepts for photovoltaic devices as a renewable energy source. For the solar cell fabrication, both clean room facilities and a dedicated pilot line are used. Research covers both short-term activities such as process improvements that can be immediately applied in the industry, and medium-term activities such as process development for ultra-thin wafers and thin silicon layers on cheap substrates.
Cell Modelling infrastructure and software
Description: The infrastructure is part of the crystalline silicon material and solar cell development environment at IMEC. The characterization techniques comprise Carrier Density Imaging (CDI), Photo- Luminescence Imaging (PL), Lock-In-Thermography (LIT) and low-injection QSSPC. This is complemented by a number of nano-characterization tools to determine local carrier concentration (SSRM-scanning spreading resistance measurements), local impurity concentration (Time-Of-Flight-SIMS) near defects and grain boundaries and local opto-electronic properties (EBIC, Conductive-AFM). The characterisation facilities offered are embedded in a large research infrastructure for industrial and clean-room based high efficiency solar cell processing development, The combined knowledge at micron and nanoscale level is important to understand the effects of impurities in multicrystalline Si material.
Description: IMEC has built a dedicated facility for processing of organic photovoltaics (OPV) based on polymers or small molecules. Users can get access to test their own materials in organic solar cells through manufacturing at state of the art machinery.