»MaNiTU« – Materials for sustainable tandem solar cells with highest conversion efficiency

Solar cells with the highest efficiencies deliver electricity cost-effectively while consuming less space and materials. High efficiencies also enable new products, such as energy-autonomous buildings or electric cars that can be charged using solar cells. However, the efficiency of silicon solar cells can no longer be increased at will. The physical limits responsible for this can be overcome with tandem solar cells. With them, efficiencies of over 35 % are possible. Tandem solar cells are therefore the focus of current solar cell research.  At the same time, within the next 5-10 years, the annual installation of solar panels worldwide will increase to more than 1 TWp. These quantities also require the consistent avoidance of critical materials (e.g. lead) in the production of solar modules. In the Fraunhofer lighthouse project »MaNiTU«, six Fraunhofer institutes are therefore working together to develop sustainable, highly efficient and cost-effective tandem solar cells based on new absorber materials.

Fraunhofer Lighthouse Project »MaNiTU««

Duration: 2019 - 2023
Coordinator: Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE, Dr. Andreas W. Bett
Project partners: Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC, Fraunhofer Institute for Mechanics of Materials IWM, Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST, Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and Systems IMWS, Fraunhofer Institute for Materials Recycling and Resource Strategy IWKS
Sponsor: Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Project budget: € 8.9 million
Aim: Highly efficient tandem solar cells made of sustainable materials

About Fraunhofer lighthouse projects
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft addresses the current challenges facing German industry. With its lighthouse projects, it sets strategic priorities in order to develop concrete solutions for the benefit of Germany as a business location. The topics are geared to the needs of industry.
The aim is to quickly turn original scientific ideas into marketable products. The participating Fraunhofer institutes pool their expertise and involve industry partners in the projects at an early stage.

Six Fraunhofer institutes combine their expertise in the Fraunhofer lighthouse project »MaNiTU«:

Development of highly efficient tandem solar cells; sustainability assessment of the entire system
Wet chemical material synthesis; application of particle-based electrode/absorber layers
Material design, atomistic material modeling and computer simulation
Research & application of coating processes; sustainability assessment & optimization of energy and material flows
Microstructural analysis and optoelectrical characterization for perovskite solar cells
Material cycles; development of lead-free substitute materials