Laboratory for Thin Films and Photovoltaics

Our mission is to develop the next generation of solar cells, batteries and light-emitting devices to accelerate the energy transition for the benefit of industry and society.


The core competences of the Laboratory are:

  • High-efficiency thin film solar cells based on chalcogenide (CIGS, CdTe, CZTS) and organometal perovskite absorbers, both on rigid and flexible substrates, where the Laboratory holds several world records for highest conversion efficiencies;
  • New materials and architectures for battery technologies such as Mg- or Al-based batteries for stationary storage of electricity and all-solid-state battery with high energy and power densities;
  • Synthesis of nanocrystals using inexpensive solution growth methods, which find applications as bright luminophores or nanocrystalline electrode materials for multivalent batteries;
  • Technology transfer to Swiss and European industries within the Coating Competence Center. The proprietary monolithic multi-layer solid-state battery technology is commercialized by Empa start-up BTRY AG.

Laboratory for Thin Films and Photovoltaics forms a strong alliance with the group "Functional Inorganic Materials" at ETH Zürich headed by Prof. Dr. Maksym Kovalenko.


New Horizon Europe project "SOLVE" to develop the solid-state battery for the mobility of the future, June 2024

Swiss ePrint 2024, The Swiss Conference on Printed Electronics and Functional Materials, takes place at EMPA, September 2024

Bright Minds #3 with Abdessalem Aribia: Revolutionizing the battery market

Bright Minds #2 with Evgeniia Gilshtein: Paving the way for tomorrow's printed electronics

PhD student Huagui Lai received Best Poster Award at the International Conference PVSEC-34 Shenzhen, China, November 2023.

Shih-Chi Yang received SPS Award in Energy Technology by Hitachi Energy Switzerland AG for his PhD thesis, November 2023.

Yaroslav Romanyuk will take over as head of the laboratory on July 1, 2023!

PhD student Andre Müller recieved Best poster award at EMRS Spring Meeting 2023, Strasbourg, May 2023.

New process boosts efficiency of bifacial CIGS thin film solar cells.

A new record of 22.2% efficiency for CIGS on flexible polymer substrate is announced, September 2022!

PhD student Shih-Chi Yang received a WCPEC Student Award at WCPEC-8, Milano, September 2022.

Ramis Hertwig won a poster award at the virtual E-MRS Spring Meeting 2022, May-June 2022.

New record - 21.4% efficiency for CIGS on flexible polymer substrate, September 2021.

PhD student Sami Bolat recieved Best poster prize at Swiss NanoConvention 2021, June 2021.

Dr. Evgeniia Gilshtein received Best image award at Swiss NanoConvention 2021, June 2021.

Transparent printed keyhole is a new security level, March 2021.


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