HEMF research projects at the Forschungszentrum Jülich

Within the the Forschungszentrum Jülich three subprojects exist in the framework of HEMF dealing with the topics

  • Semiconductors for Photovoltaic (T1)
  • Solar fuels (S1 and M1)
  • Fuel cells (S1 and M1)

Most facilities installed within the HEMF project at Forschungszentrum Jülich are currently under construction or under commissioning and will be available for users from the end of 2018. Please contact the responsible instrument officer for detailed information about the definite start of user operation.

Semiconductors for Photovoltaic

Subproject T1
Deposition tool, co-evaporation & glovebox for perovskite solar cells and tandem cells

The general purpose of the equipment is to make different variants of perovskite solar cells, including perovskite-crystalline Si tandem cells, perovskite-perovskite tandem cells and perovskite single junction solar cells. The equipment consists essentially of two parts, a deposition cluster and a co-evaporation chamber that will be attached to a glovebox. The deposition tool will allow the fabrication of passivation layers, contact layers and tunnel junctions based on amorphous and microcrystalline silicon based alloys for tandem solar cells. The co-evaporation chamber will allow the fabrication of the perovskite absorbers and the glovebox will allow users to combine the vacuum processes with wet-chemical processes, to encapsulate the device and to anneal layers in nitrogen atmosphere.

Perovskite solar cells are promising for various reasons. They have relatively high efficiencies despite the fact that they can be made quite easily using wet chemical methods or co-evaporation. This is even more remarkable because it is one of the few high band gap materials with high efficiencies > 17 %. Therefore, using perovskite based absorbers in two terminal tandem devices will be a strategy to make the most out of the potential of perovskites. The proposed facilities in Jülich will allow making such solar cells and allow the users to choose from a variety of different deposition techniques to make contact layers, tunnel junctions and transparent conductive oxides. In addition, co-evaporation will allow better conformal deposition on rough or nanostructured surfaces that will be used to increase absorption by scattering of light at interfaces. We will study in detail the optical properties of the layers and try to optimize light trapping in single and multi-junction solar cells.

Benefits for external users

  • External users will be able to bring in part of the tandem stack prepared, developed and optimized in their home institution and prepare the rest in the HEMF facility to test the complete stack
  • Device, materials and interface characterization is available in Jülich and external users can benefit from that
  • In particular solar cell characterization optimized for tandem cells will be available for HEMF users                                                                                                     
Equipment Instrument Officer                     
  SHJ solar cell baseline AK-1000 by Meyer Burger
  LOANA solar cell characterization

Dr. Kaining Ding



Solar Fuels and Fuel Cells

Subproject S1
Processing system with in-situ monitoring for nanocrystalline perovskites

Nanocrystalline perovskite materials are key components in batteries and fuel cells with respect to their catalytic function in electrodes and with respect to their transport properties for solid state electrolytes. The processing of nanocrystalline oxide materials is highly challenging and requires a complete process chain including in-situ process control.


Instrument Officer                               
Synthesis of nanocrystalline perovskites by hydrothermal and solvothermal processes controlled by in-situ Raman and optical spectroscopy Dr. Hermann Tempel h.tempel@fz-juelich.de
High temperature synthesis with in situ monitoring by XRD and TPO/TPR Dr. Hans Kungl h.kungl@fz-juelich.de
In situ electron microscopy TEM(a) and SEM(b) Dr. Roland Schierholz r.schierholz@fz-juelich.de
Fabrication of solid state electrolytes, spark plasma sintering (SPS) and field assisted sintering (FAST) Dr. Martin Bram



Additional information on the instrumentation:

(a)For in situ TEM a MEMS based gas heating holder is available which allows heating up to 1000°C under up to 1 bar atmosphere. The gas supply station allows to control the composition and flow of the gas mixture. At the moment N2, O2, Ar and Ar with 4% H2 are available.   

(b)For in situ SEM we have an Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM) available. This ESEM is equipped with a roomy chamber and allows electron microscopy under low vacuum as gas atmosphere according to the following table

Gas H2O Air N2 Ar (short-time)
max. pressure 2700 Pa 4000 Pa 4000 Pa 1000 Pa

To investigate wetted samples a Peltier stage is present and a heating stage gives the possibility to image up to 1000°C.


Subproject M1
Aliovalently-doped perovskite ceramics for electrodes and electrolytes

Reducing the operating temperature of SOFCs and SOECs below 600°C is one of major goals of the POF-III program. A promising route is the development of proton-conducting oxide materials with perovskite structure. Aliovalent doping with transition metals will further enable us to tailor the physical properties and ion conductivity of these materials.

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is ideally suited to probe the mobility over a wide range of rate constants and length scales. Furthermore, the electrochemical stability and degradation of electrode as well as electrolyte materials can be probed. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) is complementary to NMR as it probes the existence of paramagnetic centers with a non-vanishing electron spin. It allows the quantification of the oxidation state of aliovalent dopants and its temporal change. The neighborhood of an electron spin can be investigated using electron–nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) experiments.

The backbone of this lab will be a high-field NMR spectrometer and a pulsed EPR instrument. The NMR spectrometer will be equipped with a 17.5 T widebore NMR magnet and with gradient amplifiers for imaging and diffusometry. The EPR spectrometer will be operating at the X and the Q frequency bands, and it will be equipped for ENDOR experiments. For the characterization of materials, commercially available probes will be used whenever possible.


Instrument Officer                               
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) Dr. Josef Granwehr j.granwehr@fz-juelich.de
Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) Dr. Peter Jakes p.jakes@fz-juelich.de