Rutger Schlatmann becomes professor of “solar technology” at Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin - University of Applied Sciences
Rutger Schlatmann has been headed the Competence Centre Thin-Film- and Nanotechnology for Photovoltaics Berlin (PVcomB) since 2008. Since its very inception, this Berlin establishment has been an instrumental link between publicly financed photovoltaic research and the solar industry. PVcomB is jointly funded by Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and the universities and institutes of Berlin. With this felicitous collaboration, the partners have been pursuing one goal for the last four years with success: they have been taking the results of pure research and turning them into practical technologies ready for real-world use. With the joint appointment of Rutger Schlatmann, this collaboration will now be substantially expanded.
While remaining head of PVcomB, he shall hold the W3 chair “Solar Cell Technology” at the “Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft - University of Applied Sciences”. This professorship for Schlatmann is HZB’s first joint appointment with this university. In the end of June, he accepted the appointment.
Rutger Schlatmann studied physics at the University of Groningen and earned his doctorate in 1995 at the AMOLF Institute (FOM Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics) in Amsterdam. He then entered industry as a researcher, working at a major Dutch chemicals company. There, he first touched on the subject of photovoltaics with the Helianthos project. His job, as head of research and development, was to supervise the establishment and enhancement of a pilot line for manufacturing flexible solar cells. In the spring of 2008, he moved to Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. With his good economic contacts and experience in industrial research, Schlatmann quickly managed to establish PVcomB together with Berlin universities and local, national and international industrial partners, and to build an extensive network.
The solar industry has major technological challenges to overcome if it is to develop competitive products, especially in thin-film photovoltaics. PVcomB offers companies cooperative R&D projects to bring thin-film and nano-technologies for photovoltaics to industrial maturity. “We have to stay one step ahead and to work today on the topics industry will be facing tomorrow,” Rutger Schlatmann says. PVcomB has built two innovative research lines for manufacturing CIGS and thin-film silicon modules in its own laboratories. Both of these went into full operation a few weeks ago. The Berlin competence centre has also become an important address for training highly qualified young employees for the photovoltaics industry.
PVcomB is funded as part of the program “Spitzenforschung und Innovationen in den neuen Ländern” (cutting-edge research and innovation in the new German Länder) of the Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF).