Spins as Functional Probes in Solar Energy Research

10.04 - 12.04.2013


Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie
Institut für Silizium-Photovoltaik
Kekuléstraße 5
D-12489 Berlin

Scientific program

The practicality of photovoltaic (PV) devices has been demonstrated by the technological development and successful commercialization of crystalline silicon solar cells. Yet, PV electricity production is still not fully price competitive to conventional energy sources, which results in a dramatic mismatch between our present-day PV use and its enormous undeveloped potential. To bridge this gap, research aims at higher PV conversion efficiency and a reduction of material costs. Alongside with the development of novel materials and devices capable of converting solar energy into electricity or fuels, tailor-made characterization tools are required to monitor material properties and the mechanisms that capture and convert sunlight. In 2008 the German network EPR-Solar was formed with the aim to exploit advanced EPR and EDMR methods to solve open questions related to defect states in silicon solar cells and develop novel EPR methods, dedicated to the needs of solar energy research. These methods are now available to the PV community via Sophia, the European PV characterization network. After 5 years of successful research, the funding period of EPR-Solar terminated by the end of 2012. With the discussion meeting “Spins as Functional Probes in Solar Energy Research” we would like to reflect on recent advances in EPR for solar energy research achieved within and outside the network and discuss future perspectives and demands in the field.