AIT Austrian Institute of Technology is Austria's largest research and technology organisation, More than 250 experts are working on the energy systems of the future. Photovoltaics, together with other renewable energy sources, will form the central pillar of our future energy supply.
In the field of photovoltaics, AIT offers more than 20 years of experience applying beyond state-of-the-art laboratory infrastructure. AIT offers by VIPERLAB project its infrastructure that consists of tools for PV characterization/reliability and development of thin film coatings, which makes AIT Lab one of the few locations in Europe where such thorough tests can be realized.
The infrastructure consists of tools for PV characterization/reliability and development of thin film coatings, which makes AIT Lab one of the few locations in Europe where such thorough tests can be realized.
1. Characterization and reliability tools for photovoltaics, as required for accreditation tests of PV modules:
2. Tools for deposition and characterization of thin film coatings:
The sputter system, with its multitude of sputter sources, provides the opportunity to investigate a wide number of materials and material combinations. The system is unique in Austria and rare within Europe. Likewise, there is very extended experience in spray coating/pyrolysis of oxides and the tool has production-scale features and automatization capabilities to facilitate its use.
The PV characterization and reliability infrastructure is used for direct industry contact work (e.g. accreditation), but also for co-funded national and European projects. Because of its special role in accreditation activities, certain pieces of infrastructure (bullet points 1a.,1b.,1g. and 1h. above) are exclusively used by trained AIT researchers and cannot be operated by external users. But the other parts can be used by external users after training and under supervision from AIT users.
The coatings infrastructure is used for co-funded project work (national and European co-funded projects), as well as for direct industry contract work. The tools are used by researchers in AIT (staff scientists, PhD and master’s students) and have given rise to >50 publications /theses /patents in the last 5 years. We have also organized workshops in the framework of European projects, where researchers from European institutes have participated in experiments (like device fabrication) in AIT and used the tools under supervision/guidance from AIT trained users. These workshops were very successful and will thus be continued. All projects currently running have strong industry participation, partly because of the capabilities of the infrastructure to test and develop materials and devices
The external users will be offered full scientific and technical support from AIT personnel in the fields of expertise (e.g. transparent electrodes, hole and electron transport layers, solar cell device fabrication, materials characterization, measurement and imaging techniques of cells, norms and measurement protocols etc). AIT researchers will train the users in the use and operation of the tools and introduce them into the techniques by giving them the necessary scientific and technical background information. The channels of use can be summarized as follows:
Preparation of samples by AIT users according to specifications/recipes from external researchers