Photovoltaic Specialists Conference
Technical Areas Overview
PDF Area 1:  Fundamentals and New Concepts for Future Technologies
PDF Area 2:  Chalcogenide Thin Film Solar Cells and Related Materials
PDF Area 3:  III-V and Concentrator Technologies
PDF Area 4:  Crystalline Silicon Technologies
PDF Area 5:  Amorphous, Nano, and Film Si Technologies
PDF Area 6:  Organic Photovoltaics
PDF Area 7:  Space Technologies
PDF Area 8:  Advances in Characterization of Photovoltaics
PDF Area 9:  PV Modules and Terrestrial Systems
PDF Area 10:  PV Velocity Forum:  Accelerating the PV Economy

Technical Areas Overview

Area 1:  Fundamentals and New Concepts for Future Technologies

Chair:  Alex Freundlich, University of Houston, USA
Co-Chair:      Stephen Bremner, University of New South Wales, Australia
Co-Chair:      Jean Francois Guillemoles, IRDEP-CNRS, France
Co-Chair:      Masakazu Sugiyama, University of Tokyo, Japan

Sub-area 1.1     Fundamental Conversion Mechanisms
Sub-area 1.2     Quantum-Well, Nanowire, and Quantum-Dot Architectured Devices
Sub-area 1.3     Hybrid Organic/Inorganic Solar Cells
Sub-area 1.4     Advanced Light Management and Spectral Shaping
Sub-area 1.5     Novel Material Systems

Papers are sought that describe basic research and breakthroughs in physical, chemical and optical phenomena, new materials and novel device concepts, which are essential to feed the innovation pipeline leading to future-generation PV technologies. General areas of interest include, but are not limited to, recent advances in understanding, demonstration and optimization of:

(1)  non-conventional PV conversion processes, intermediate-band solar cells, multiple charge generation, thermophotovoltaics,  hot-carrier cells, and other emerging PV device concepts;

(2)  devices based on quantum wells nanowires and quantum dots; as well as deciphering the science at play in photogeneration, recombination, and carrier transport in these devices;

(3)  cross-cutting hybrid devices that leverage on organic/inorganic material and nanostructures (q-dots, graphene and CNTs);

(4)   advanced light management concepts and architectures: including new approaches in spectral engineering (i.e. up-down conversion, luminescent concentrators), light concentration, surface texturing and light trapping (i.e plasmonics, nano/micro engineered ARs);

(5)  Novel material systems and associations for increasing  performance, functionality, reliability and scalability of PV devices, including new pseudomorphic and metamorphic photovoltaic material systems, alternative inexpensive substrates, novel doping and defect passivation schemes, novel nanostructures, earth abundant thin films and TCO materials. Novel scalable nano/micro fabrication techniques and processes for synthesis of PV materials.

Area 2:  Chalcogenide Thin Film Solar Cells and Related Materials

Chair:  Sylvain Marsillac, Old Dominion University, USA
Co-Chair:      Chris Ferekides, University of South Florida, USA
Co-Chair:      Takashi Minemoto, Ritzumeikan University, Japan
Co-Chair:      Susanne Siebentritt, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Sub-area 2.1:    Absorber Deposition and Characterization
Sub-area 2.2:    Materials for Substrates, Transparent Conductors, Buffers, and Contacts
Sub-area 2.3:    Device Properties, Modeling, and Defects Characterization
Sub-area 2.4:    Novel Processes, New Architecture, In-situ Monitoring
Sub-area 2.5:    Module and Manufacturing Issues: Performance, Reliability, and Process Controls

As the CdTe and CIGS technologies move from the lab to the factory, we encourage contributions addressing recent advances in manufacturing processes utilizing vacuum and/or atmospheric conditions, process controls and diagnostics, alternative buffers, TCOs, novel contacts, moisture barriers and other measures related to stability/reliability of the solar cell.  To maintain a strong and broad science foundation for these two thin film technologies, we solicit contributions on the science and engineering of thin-film deposition, characterization of structural, optical and electrical properties, modeling, and the role of electrically active defects and impurities. Looking forward, we also solicit contributions exploring new materials, wide band gap absorbers, novel device structures, and tandem cells.

Area 3:  III-V and Concentrator Technologies

Chair:  Paul Sharps, Emcore Corporation, USA
Co-Chair:      Carlos Algora, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain
Co-Chair:      Pierre VerLinden Solar Systems, Australia

Sub-area 3.1     III-V Epitaxy, Materials, Processing and Devices; III-V Concentrator Solar Cells
Sub-area 3.2     High Concentration PV Modules, Optics and Receivers
Sub-area 3.3     High Concentration PV Systems and Power Plants
Sub-area 3.4     Low concentration PV - Si Concentrator Cells, Modules and Systems

The highest conversion efficiencies of >40 % are obtained with multijunction solar cells made of III-V compound semiconductors.  Materials science is the basis for the continuous improvements in the understanding and further development of these complex solar cell structures.  We therefore call for papers on the materials science and technology in this field.  This may include (but not be limited to) work on theoretical device modeling, epitaxy, solar cell processing, characterization, and system integration.  While III-V multijunction solar cells are the basis for the growing terrestrial market of high concentration photovoltaics, lower concentration approaches using silicon solar cells are gaining attention.  At this conference we are encouraging submission of papers in all fields related to the materials science and technology of Si and III-V concentrator solar cells, receivers and systems.  Papers on the development of new concentrators including optics for high- as well as low-concentration are welcome.  Manufacturing aspects, product reliability, and testing are important aspects to be discussed for both solar cells and concentrator systems.   Further topics may focus on:  tracker development, thermal hybrid systems, annual power rating, industry standards, CPV market development, cost reduction or ecological impact.  Contributions may range from exploratory research through applied research, technology development, and engineering improvements. 

Area 4:  Crystalline Silicon Technologies

Chair:  Stuart Bowden, Arizona State University, USA
Co-Chair:      Armin Aberle, SERIS, Singapore
Co-Chair:      Jörg Horzel, IMEC, Belgium

Sub-Area 4.1: Feedstock and Crystallization
Sub-Area 4.2: Passivation (bulk, surfaces and gettering)
Sub-Area 4.3: Advances in Industrial Cell Processing (metallization, diffusion, etc)
Sub-Area 4.4: Advanced Device Structures (heterojunctions, rear junction, PERL, EWT etc)
Sub-Area 4.5: Fundamentals (modeling, characterization, optics)

The market for crystalline silicon solar cells continues to expand and is rapidly approaching the tipping point of grid parity in many markets. The continuing drive for higher conversion efficiencies and lower costs of crystalline Si cells demands an increasingly sophisticated understanding of the materials and processes involved, in order to drive the development of new or improved manufacturing methods, materials and device structures.  Papers reporting on all aspects of c-Si technology are welcomed, including but not limited to:  feedstock materials and crystal growth;  defect characterization and passivation;  advanced optics for light trapping and reflection control;  new cell designs;  device modeling;  advanced measurement techniques;  and solutions for large scale manufacturing. 

Area 5:  Amorphous, Nano, and Film Si Technologies

Chair:  Arno Smets, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands
Co-Chair:      Hiroyuki Fujiwara, Gifu University, Japan
Co-Chair:      Aad Gordijn, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany

Sub-area 5.1:  Fundamental Properties of Thin Silicon Films
Sub-area 5.2:  Processing Issues for Thin Silicon Films and Devices
Sub-area 5.3:  Novel Concepts for Thin Silicon Solar Cell Devices
Sub-area 5.4:  Amorphous, Nano/Microcrystalline and Silicon Film Devices and Modules

Thin-film photovoltaics based on amorphous, nano/microcrystalline and polycrystalline silicon on non-Si-substrates have matured through three decades of advances in the design and processing of high-quality materials, solar cells and modules. Detailed research studies and visionary papers addressing the entire spectrum of the subject are welcomed, including material characterization concerning microstructure, light induced degradation, SiGe:H, SiC:H, SiO:H alloys, and film oxidation; processing issues concerning large throughput, large area, high deposition rates, processing routes for polycrystalline silicon; novel concepts for thin silicon solar cells concerning films with new functionalities, like enhanced light trapping using texturing of interfaces, multi-layers, intermediate reflective layer between junctions or integrated in doped layers, plasmonic enhancement, photonic structures, “3D” structures (nanowires, nanorods), advanced transparent conductive oxide layers; and  all topics related to amorphous/microcrystalline and silicon film solar cells and modules such as multi-junction structures, performance and long-term reliability

Area 6:  Organic Photovoltaics

Chair:  David Ginley, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA
Co-Chair:      Eva Bundgaard, Risoe, Denmark
Co-Chair:      Darin Laird, Plextronics, USA

Sub-area 6.1  New Materials for Absorbers and Donors in Excitonic Solar Cells
Sub-area 6.2  Materials and Approaches for Contacts for Organic Photovoltaic Devices
Sub-area 6.3  Lifetime and Stability in Organic Photovoltaics
Sub-area 6.4  Device Concepts for Excitonic Solar Cells

Organic, hybrid inorganic/organic, and dye-sensitized solar cells are rapidly advancing technologies that are beginning to demonstrate initial commercial viability.  The flexibility to model and produce different donor/acceptor combinations including both organic, small molecule and polymer as well as nanostructured, inorganic materials stimulate a large diversity of possible approaches to realize  promise of efficient and highly stable devices.  Many of the devices are excitonic in nature, necessitating new models and understanding of the critical interfaces in the bulk heterojunction and the contacts.   This is more so since there are interfaces between very heterogeneous materials with different structural, thermal and chemical properties.  The symposium will focus on the examination of many of the key areas evolving in this diverse approach to solar energy.  This includes papers in a broad spectrum of areas but will focus on:  the modeling synthesis and evaluation of new materials for the donor and acceptor in the bulk heterojunction developing high performance contacts for organic and excitonic based devices with the associated interfacial science, studies on the lifetime and mechanisms for degradation in OPV devices and new device concepts for OPV including QD composites, tandem cells and others. 

Area 7:  Space Technologies

Chair:  Alex Howard, AFRL, USA
Co-Chair:      Mitsuru Imaizumi, JAXA, Japan
Co-Chair:      Carla Signorini, ESA, Netherlands

Subarea 7.1  Space Materials and Devices
Subarea 7.2  Space Systems
Subarea 7.3 Flight Performance and Environmental Effects

Topics of interest are solar cells suited for use in space, especially devices capable of high efficiency or high specific power, including solar array designs.  The scope includes III-V, thin-film, and novel solar cells. Also of interest are papers concerning space reliability, space environmental effects, and protective materials for the space environment.  We welcome papers concerning characterization and qualification of space solar cells and papers concerning flight experiments and missions. 

Area 8:  Advances in Characterization of Photovoltaics

Chair:  Manuel Romero, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA
Co-Chair:      Daniel Abou-Ras, Helmholtz-Zentrum, Berlin, Germany
Co-Chair:      Clemens Heske, University of Nevada Las Vegas, USA
Co-Chair:      Sergio Molina, University of Cadiz, Spain

Sub-area 8.1:  Defects in Photovoltaic Materials and Solar Cells
Sub-area 8.2:  Progress in Micro- and Nano-scale Measurements for Photovoltaic Applications    
Sub-area 8.3:  Next Generation of Instruments for the Characterization of Solar Cells
Sub-area 8.4:  Characterization Methods for the Photovoltaic Industry: In-Situ Measurements, Process Control, Defect Monitoring.
Sub-area 8.5:  Modules and Photovoltaic System Performance, Reliability Testing, and Standards

Area 8 presents work primarily focused on methods of characterization of photovoltaic materials and devices as opposed to focusing on the materials and devices characterized.  Thus, papers submitted to this area could range from new scanning probe methods to determine semiconductor properties to methods to calibrate an accelerated lifetime testing apparatus.  In-situ characterization methods and process control methods are appropriate to Area 8 because they are about implementing a method in a given environment.  Papers describing the performance or properties of specific materials and devices, if focused primarily on those materials and devices should go to the areas concerned with the relevant technology.  However, a paper describing the application of a technique to a material, focused primarily on demonstrating the capabilities of a technique, belong in Area 8.  Thus, a paper describing cathodoluminescence (CL) of CuInSe2 would belong in Area 2 if focused on the CIS but in Area 8 if focused on how to conduct CL or the capabilities of a CL instrument.  Exciting new work is being reported in this area ranging from novel methods of photoemission to advanced imaging and characterization methods for individual Si wafers through full modules.

Area 9:  PV Modules and Terrestrial Systems

Chair:  Angèle Reinders, University of Twente, The Netherlands
Co-Chair:      Terry Jester, Hudson Clean Energy Partners, USA
Co-Chair:      Scott Norquist, 3M Renewable Energy Division, USA
Co-Chair:      B.J. Stanberry, Heliovolt, USA

Sub-area 9.1:    Irradiance Resources
Sub-area 9.2:    PV Module Materials, Durability and Performance
Sub-area 9.3:    Inverters, Batteries and other BOS Components
Sub-area 9.4:    Grid Connected Systems and Smart Grids
Sub-area 9.5:    Stand Alone Applications and PV products

PV modules are a vital commodity in the market of PV systems.  We encourage submissions in all subjects associated with PV module materials, durability and the performance of PV modules.  Also, papers reporting on irradiance resources in relation to the energy yield (kWh/kWp) of PV modules and PV systems are welcome.  In particular, we are interested in testing protocols for site-dependent energy yields. Power conditioning equipment affects the reliability and efficiency of PV systems. Therefore, contributions describing technical issues and standardization of inverters and Balance-of-Systems (BOS) components are encouraged.  Papers about design engineering, monitoring and control of very large scale grid-connected PV installations are welcome, as well as papers about incentives for, and experiences with residential grid-connected systems and building-integrated PV systems in the context of smart grids.  The growing need for renewable electricity supply is advancing the development of stand-alone PV solutions and various innovative PV products for both grid-connected and autonomous applications.  As such, we welcome contributions that explore the development of system integrated PV in the context of functionality, regulations and costs.

Area 10:  PV Velocity Forum:  Accelerating the PV Economy

Chair:  John Benner, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA
Co-Chair:      Izumi Kaizuka, RTS Corporation, Japan
Co-Chair:      Carol Tombari, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, USA

Subarea 10.1     PV Programs, Policies and Incentives
Subarea 10.2     PV Markets
Subarea 10.3     Sustainability and Environmental Issues

The PV Velocity Forum brings investors, regulators and policy-makers together with the assembled PV technology specialists to explore methods for driving more cost-effective emerging technologies through production and into the market.  Speakers and panelists will engage with attendees to explore gating factors affecting the adoption of new PV technologies, such as research support, policy development, regulations, supply chain, workforce development, environmental issues and market-based project management.   The Forum will address strategies to sustain or accelerate the high growth rate and drive costs down faster.