Helmholtz-Israel International Research School on Hybrid Integrated Systems for Conversion of Solar Energy (HI-SCORE)

The transition towards an increasingly solar-powered society requires breakthroughs in the efficiencies of photovoltaic solar cells and in the large-scale storage of solar energy in the form of chemical fuels. Novel wide-bandgap materials offer a pathway to tackle both challenges. By integrating these absorbers in suitable tandem cell designs, a larger part of the solar spectrum can be harvested and sufficiently high voltages for the electrochemical production of chemical fuels can be generated. Low-cost, highly efficient tandem concepts have now become feasible through the spectacular development of novel organic-inorganic metal halide perovskites in recent years, and by progress in the development of chemicallystable metal oxide absorbers.

The Helmholtz-Israel Research School HI-SCORE is capitalizing on these developments, and explores the opportunities that these novel widebandgap absorbers offer for developing highly efficient tandem devices for the solar generation of electricity and fuels. More than 30 German and Israeli PhD students are working on 14 joint projects distributed over three main research themes: materials development, interface design, and device integration.

The research school is associated with eight existing HZB and Israeli graduate schools and leverages the possibilities and PhD programs that these schools already offer. HI-SCORE is complementing these programs by offering binational supervision, a 6-month research experience abroad, and the possibility to follow courses at the partner institute. Biannual “all hands” meetings, alternately organized in Germany and Israel, webinars, and student-organized Young Scientist Retreats are ensuring efficient knowledge exchange. HI-SCORE effectively leverages the complementary expertise of the German and Israeli partners, provides a platform for future German-Israeli research collaborations, and contributes to a strong international research and education network in the Berlin/Potsdam region.