Organic-based materials for the 3rd generation of solar cells

Physics and Energy

About this course


No prerequisite is required. The course is orientated towards the design and properties of organic-based materials used in photovoltaics, but it is adapted for students with various backgrounds.

Learning outcomes

This course will show how organic-based materials have emerged and how they have drawn a continuously growing and fascinating attention for being used as active layers in photovoltaic devices. At the end of the course, students should be able to:

  • understand the progressive evolution of organic-based materials in photovoltaics
  • describe the main synthetic strategies that afford conjugated polymers
  • explain the opto-electronic properties of conjugated materials
  • understand and describe the operating principle of photovoltaic devices
  • understand the degradation mechanisms in solar cells and how to remediate to them

Course main content

The course aims at giving a comprehensive overview on the most promising and effective materials used in solar cells and on the conception and elaboration of the devices. The materials will be presented depending on their role/function in the devices and the performance of the devices will be related to both the structure of the materials and that of the devices.

  • The working principle of differently-structured devices will be explained (bulk heterojunction, dye-sensitized, hybrid perovskite, and tandem solar cells).
  • The most useful ways to obtain the materials with the desired properties will be described, as well as the techniques used to characterize their mechanical, thermal and opto-electronic properties.
  • The opto-electronic properties of active materials will be investigated in depth, especially when processed as thin films.
  • The degradation mechanisms in terms of materials stability and devices design will be described and solutions that lead to a better stability will be presented.
  • Methods developed to improve the performance of solar cells will be presented
  • Processing techniques used in the industry to elaborate solar cells will be discussed.

Coordinator Instructors

Gilles HOROWITZ, Ecole polytechnique


        **Langue du cours :** Anglais


Credits ECTS : 4

Learning outcomes


Additional information

  • Credits
    ECTS 4
  • Level
  • Instructors
    Gael Zucchi
  • Mode of instruction
If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of L'X (France).


  • Start date

    23 September 2024

    • Ends
      16 December 2024
    • Term *
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      14 May - 26 Jul 2024
    Only 2 days to enrol
    Apply now
These offerings are valid for students of EPFL (Switzerland)