Joint French Research Team Developed for Thin Film Solar Power

Total and Laboratoire de Physique des Interfaces et des Couches Minces (LPICM), a joint R&D research team between the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and France’s Ecole Polytechnique engineering school, today announce the creation of a joint research team focusing on thin film technologies for photovoltaic solar applications.

The NanoPV R&D team comprises some 15 researchers and Ph.D. students from Total and the CNRS-Ecole Polytechnique joint research unit. It is based on the Ecole Polytechnique campus in the Saclay area near Paris, home to France’s nanotechnology expertise cluster. Total will provide resources and funding of approximately €8 million during the initial four-year phase. The research program will develop silicon thin film technologies and explore new concepts using silicon nanowires. The primary focus of the research is to reduce the cost of solar energy to step up its deployment.

When signing the partnership agreement, Philippe Boisseau, President, Total Gas & Power, said: “This agreement with an internationally recognized laboratory is a further step in Total’s commitment to new energy R&D. With this undertaking, Total is also supporting the strategic project to create a world-class French science and technology cluster in the Saclay area south of Paris.”

“The creation of the joint R&D team is the culmination of 20 years of work on plasma synthesis and thin film and nanomaterial characterization for photovoltaic solar cells,” commented Bernard Drévillon, Head of LPICM. “Photovoltaic solar energy has been the core focus of R&D at the lab under the leadership of research director Pere Roca. Cooperation with Total, a global energy producer and provider, paves the way for practical applications for LPICM’s work.”

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