NREL and German Solar Energy Researchers to Collaborate
News - Staff reports
Author: CompoundSemi News Staff
June 27, 2011... The National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and German researchers signed a memorandum of understanding, agreeing to collaborate on next generation photovoltaics and solar fuels. The MOU was signed in Berlin by NREL Director Dan Arvizu, and leaders of three research institutes within the German Helmholtz Association - the Research Center Jülich (FZ Jülich), the Helmholtz Center Berlin (HZB), and the German Aerospace Center (DLR).
Scientists from both countries will synthesize and characterize novel materials that are candidates for more efficient solar cells and solar fuels.
They also plan to develop and use fast imaging techniques to help characterize thin-film materials on the micrometer to nanometer scale, and to characterize in situ growth processes.
They hope to gain a fundamental understanding of grain boundary/interface passivation in thin-film silicon and search for the potential and limits of wide band-gap thin-film solar cells.
Electroluminescence, photoluminescence and thermography techniques will be used. The researchers will also expose the solar cells to high temperatures and light exposures to investigate their stability.
New device structures and lower cost catalysts will also be investigated for the generation of hydrogen in photocatalytic solar fuel.
"This agreement promises to advance the state of knowledge and the development of new materials and technologies that will form the basis of next-generation solar cells and solar fuels," NREL Director Arvizu said.
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