Sharc25 Workshop in Stuttgart (Germany) on December 14, 2017

We are pleased to announce the 1st Sharc25 project workshop with focus on “Advanced Characterization Techniques and Analytics” which will be held in Stuttgart (Germany) on December 14, 2017. This full-day event offers the opportunity to discuss with experts from the project consortium and with external speakers on analytic topics concerning the CIGS absorber, interfaces, device characterization and beyond.

During the project period of 3.5 years two workshops are planned which will be organized by ZSW, Empa, and the consortium.

Please save the date December 14, 2017 for this interesting event. An invitation with agenda and more detailed information about the meeting (location and registration) will be available by the end of October 2017.

ZSW’s partners in this endeavor are


the EMPA (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology), the universities of Luxembourg (LU), Rouen (F), Parma (I) and Aalto (FIN), the IMEC (Interuniversitair Micro-Elektronica Centrum VZW in B), the HZB (Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie in D), the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory INL (P), Flisom AG (CH), and Manz CIGS Technology GmbH (D). The idea behind this EU project is to pool these eleven organizations’ multidisciplinary skills in a bid to develop better cells.


A new opportunity for European cell manufacturers


The performance of thin-film solar cells based on chalcopyrite has improved markedly in recent years. Able to achieve 20.4 percent efficiency, CIGS solar cells on plastic foil are almost on par with multicrystalline solar cells. CIGS cells on glass topped that mark for the first time in 2013 and increased their lead by 1.3 percentage points to 21.7 percent in 2014. These two world records were achieved by two partners of the Sharc25 project: EMPA holds the record for the foil substrate and ZSW for glass.


Researching CIGS thin-film solar cells


Sharc25, an acronym for ‘super high efficiency Cu(In, Ga)Se2 thin-film solar cells approaching 25%,’ aims to raise the bar even higher. The five research institutes, four universities and two companies are pursuing three strategies to achieve this goal: Improve the absorber material, harness the power of new designs for more efficient surfaces and interfaces, and optimize light management to raise the efficiency threshold another few notches. An increase of about three percentage points to 25 percent efficiency would be quite the leap in performance.