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IREC to coordinate the project “KESTCELLS” from the FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN programme of the European Commission

The project, with a total budget of 3.705.320,08 €, aims to create an ITN network for the structured interdisciplinary training of researchers in advanced thin film photovoltaic (PV) technologies. The project proposes the development of new technologies compatible with the cost, efficiency, sustainability and mass production requirements that are needed to become a reliable and future alternative to conventional non renewable energy sources. With this objective in mind, KESTCELLS will focus on the development of kesterite (Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 - CZTS) based solar cells. Kesterites are quaternary/pentenary compounds with a crystalline structure very similar to that of chalcopyrites (CIGS: Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2). They have a strong potential for thin film low cost PV technologies, related to their direct bandgap and high optical absorption. In contrast with CIGS -where the potential for high mass production is compromised by the scarcity of In - they are constituted by abundant elements.



26th June 2015

The supervisory board of the Kestcells Project announces two new seminars:

The Seminar "Introduction to hybrid perovskites: theoretical aspects, photovoltaic and optoelectronic applications", will be offered by Prof. Jacky Even, next Thursday, July 2nd at  16:00 in AMU, CINaM – Campus de Luminy - Salle Raymond Kern, Marseille, France.

A Seminar on "20% efficiency CIGS-based thin film solar cells grown by LT-PED (Low Temperature Pulsed Electron Deposition) technique” will be offered by Edmondo Gilioli, next Thursday,  July 16th at  16:00 in EMPA, Meeting room SH 521, Ueberlandstrasse 129, CH-8600 Dübendorf.

6th June 2015

Two new seminars are organized at HZB:

A Seminar on "Quantitative Photoluminescence Imaging of Solar Cells", will be offered by Dr. Thomas Unold and Dr. Alex Redinger, next Tuesday, June 9th at 14:00 in room E115, LM-Campus, HZB.

A Seminar on "Heterojunctions in Solar Cells"will be offered by Dr. Alex Redinger and Dr. Thomas Unold, next  Tuesday, June 30th at 14:00 in room E115, LM-Campus, HZB.

29th May 2015

A seminar on "Surface Photovoltage Spectroscopy and its Application to Thin Film Solar Cells”” will be offered by HZB, next Thursday, June 18th at 10:00 in room 14.51-3365, Albert-Einstein-Str.15, 12489 Berlin, Campus Adlershof

26th May 2015 

As part of the multidisciplinary training of the Kestcells project, researchers will carry out during this summer an on-line module that will focus in learning how to create, develop and present successfully a business plan. The fellows will be tutored by ESADE’s teachers and IREC’s Project Management Office.  They will define with the researchers an imaginary (although feasible) technological product.  Researchers will learn the general guidelines of how to look for a science based opportunity, how to identify all the stakeholders involved, how to design and validate a suitable business model for that opportunity, and how to present a project to get funding and any other needed resources.

 26th May 2015

Dr. Edgardo Saucedo from Catalonia Institute of Energy Research (IREC), and Coordinator of Kestcells, will be a Key Note Speakers in the Photovoltaic Technical Conference 2015, in Aix-en-Provence, France (27-29 May 2015), entitled: “The importance of interfaces modification for high efficiency kesterite based solar cells”. During his talk, he will review the state of the art of Kesterites giving new insights for the conversion efficiency improvement through surfaces modification, presenting key results obtained in the frame of Kestcells project that has allowed to go towards high efficiency devices among the consortium. Dr. Saucedo will enjoy the opportunity to promote the Kestcells project as well as the main scientific achievement in a broad photovoltaic audience. More information is available in the following links:

 25th May 2015

A seminar on "Growth and characterization of Kesterite compound semiconductors”” will be offered by Prof. Dr. Ernest Arushanov, Academy of Sciences of Moldova, Institute of Applied Physics, next 10th of June, 2015, at 14:00 in Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin for Materials and Energy Department Crystallography, Germany.

19th May 2015

The seminar  "Time Resolved Photoluminescence Spectroscopy””  offered by Dr. Thomas Unold, has been reschedule to the 27th of May.

18th May 2015

A seminar on "Time Resolved Photoluminescence Spectroscopy”” will be offered by Dr. Thomas Unold, next 27th of May, 2015 at HZB, at 14:00 in room E-115, Hahn-Meitner Platz 1, 14109 Berlin.

26th March 2015

A seminar on "The CISSY surface and interface analysis system at BESSY II” will be offered by Iver Lauermann, next 27th of March, 2015 at HZB, at 10:00 in room 13.10-428, Magnusstraße 2, 12489 Berlin, Campus Adlershof.

23th February 2015

A seminar on “Zn-based alternative buffer layers – a challenge worthwhile?” will be offered by Johannes Löckinger, next 24th of February, 2015 at EMPA, Ueberlandstrasse 129, CH-8600 Dübendorf  

20th February 2015

The supervisory board of the Kestcells Project announces the 3rd KESTCELLS Workshop on "Modelling of solar cells" & 30 Months Meeting, which will take place in Marseille on March 11th-13th, 2015. 

16th February 2015

The supervisory board of the Kestcells Project announces the Workshop-3: “Modelling of solar cells”  at Aix Marseille University next 11th of March, 2015.

Two new seminars are organized at Universidad Autónoma Madrid:

Wednesday 4th of March 2015: a seminar on "Dye sensitized solar cells” will be imparted by Dr. Iván Mora Seró (Universitat Jaume I, Department of Physics, Photovoltaic and Optoelectronic Devices Group,Castellón Spain.

Thursday 5th of March 2015: a seminar on "Perovskite solar cells” will be imparted by Dr. Iván Mora Seró. (Universitat Jaume I, Department of Physics, Photovoltaic and Optoelectronic Devices Group,Castellón Spain.


9th February 2015

Two new seminars are organized at IREC

Monday 16 of February, 2015: a seminar on “Laser applications for photovoltaics” will be imparted by Dr. Mónica Colina (IREC).

Friday 20 of February, 2015: a seminar on “Characterization techniques for chalcogenide thin film solar cells” will be imparted by Dr. Paul Pistor (IREC)


20th January 2015

 New Seminar Nexcis

 A seminar on "Clues towards identifying limits and improving kesterite solar cells" will be offered by G. Brammertz, IMEC and M. Arasimowicz, NEXCIS next 27th of January at NEXCIS. 


16th December 2014

New Seminar Nexcis

A seminar on "Low-cost approaches for CZTS solar cell manufacturing" will be offered by G. Larramona (IMRA Europe and L. Vauche NEXCIS) next 17th of December at NEXCIS. 

8th December 2014

New Seminar-EMPA

A seminar on "Time-resolved photoluminescence spectroscopy of thin film solar cells” will be offered by Fabian Pianezzi (EMPA), Bengamin Bissig (EMPA) and Matthias Maiberg (Halle University) next 8th of December at EMPA.

19th November 2014


The project KESTCELLS is organizing a coordinated Open Day that will involve six institutions of the consortium. The Open Day activities will take place in November and December 2014 and are addressed to disseminate the research done in the frame of the project KESTCELLS, to undergraduate and graduate students. The Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) will organize for the 14th of November a half day visit to undergraduate teachers. They will be informed about the research done in the photovoltaics area and there will be a visit to the laboratories. The 24th of November the University of Luxembourg (UL) will invite a Schengen school to visit the facilities to introduce the students to the day-to-day of science. The Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) will include the 12th of December a session devoted to the KESTCELLS project in a Renewal Energies Open workshop organized by the University. Ix-Marseille University (AMU) will invite the 20th of November a class of Master students that will receive three seminars on the research done in Photovoltaics in the University. The University of Upplsala (UU) will invite the 10th of December two groups of undergraduate students from a local High School. The Fundació Institut de Recerca en Energia de Catalunya (IREC) will host the 21st and the 27th of November undergraduate students and teachers from local High Schools. The students will receive a general introduction on the Photovoltaics Research and a labtour.

These activities are being developed by the Early Stage Researchers recruited by the project as part of their multidisciplinary training. They have the objective to inform and encourage a new generation of students of the opportunities of becoming a researcher and to promote the Marie Curie Research Programs. 

New Seminar

A seminar on "Management of European Projects” will  be offered by Jose Miguel Sanjuan, project manager of the Catalunya Institute for Energy Reseach, next 4th of December 2014 at IREC, Jardins de les dones de negre 1, Sant Adrià del Besòs-Barcelona, Spain

10th October 2014

New Seminar

A seminar on "X-ray absorption spectroscopy and its application to chalcopyrite and kesterite materials" will  be offered by Dr. Claudia Schnohr, researcher of the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, next 11th of December 2014 at  Helmholtz-Centre Berlin for Materials and Energy Department Crystallography, Germany

16th July 2014

New Seminar

A seminar on "Black Silicon Photovoltaics”  will be offered by Prof. Ralf B. Wehrspohn, researcher of Fraunhofer-Institute for Mechanics of materials IWM Halle and Institute of Physics, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg next 24th of July, 2014, at AMU, CINaM – Campus de Luminy - Salle Raymond Kern, Marseille, France.


25th June 2014

Two new seminars organized.

A seminar on "Supramolecular Photochemistry: from basic concepts to energy conversion”  will be offered by Giacomo Bergamini, next 26th of June, 2014, at AMU, CINaM – Campus de Luminy - Salle Raymond Kern, Marseille, France.

A seminar on "Luminescence Techniques for Solar Cells Characterization”  will be offered by NEXCIS, 190 Avenue Célestin Coq, 13790 ROUSSET, FRANCE, next 30th of June. In this Seminar,  Laurent Lombez, researcher at IRDEP will present "Quantitative Imaging of Solar Cells Properties Using Luminescence Characterization Methods and Thomas Goislard, from NEXCIS  will  present "Photoluminescence for Quality Control of Chalcogenide Thin Film Solar Cells".

23th June 2014

New Seminar

A seminar on "Supramolecular Photochemistry: from basic concepts to energy conversion”  will be offered by Dr. Teodor K. Todorov, researcher of IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center next 1st of July, 2014, at IREC, Jardins de les dones de negre 1, Sant Adrià del Besòs-Barcelona, Spain.

12th June 2014

Kestcells and Inducis Projects co-organise a Workshop in the IX Barcelona Energy Challanges Conference

The Workshop I "Thin fim future technologies: What beyond 2020? New scenarios for industry-academia interactions" is co-organised by INDUCIS (FP7-IAPP) and KESTCELLS (FP7-ITN) projects in the frame of the IXth Barcelona Energy Challenges Conference.

20th May 2014

New Seminar

A seminar on "Growth and characterization of Cu2Zn(Sn,Ge,Si)(S,Se)4”  will be offered by Prof. Ernest Arushanov, of the Institute of Applied Physics, Academy of Sciences of Moldova next 23rd of June, 2014 at University Autonoma of Madrid, Applied Physics Department, Module 12 (Sala de Seminarios), C/ Francisco Tomás y Valiente 7, 28049 Madrid, Spain

7th May 2014

New Seminar

A new seminar on Ion matter interaction and ion beam analysis will be offered by UAM next 8th May at the Centre for Micro Analysis of Material, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

24th April 2014

New Seminar

A seminar on Photo Electron Spectroscopy will be offered by HZB next 23rd May 2014 at HZB Berlin, Albert-Einstein-Str. 15, 12489 Berlin, Germany.

In this seminar the use of photo electron spectroscopy, using x-ray (XPS) and UV (UPS) excitation for the characterization of thin film solar cell components will be explored. Special emphasis will be on the determination of the chemical composition of surfaces and interfaces and on the analysis of band alignments between different layers of thin film devices by UV photo electron  spectroscopy.

16th April 2014

New job position open at Abengoa Solar NT

Abengoa Solar NT in the frame of project kestcells is recruiting 1 post-doctoral position (experienced researcher ER). More information of the call can be found here.

First issue of the Newsletter

A first issue of the Newsletter has been realesed and can be found here.

31st March 2014

New multimedia releases 

New content has been added at the video clips section.

25th February 2014

Two new seminars organized.

A Seminar on "Raman spectroscopy: practical approach" will be offered by IREC next 18th of March.

In this Seminar, a practical approach of Raman spectroscopy will be presented, with special emphasis in the application to Kesterites characterization, and with an introduction to data acquisition, processing and analysis

A seminar on "Spectroscopic Ellipsometry: applications for thin film solar cells" will be offerd by the AMU next 14th of March.

This Seminar will have three parts: "From Introduction to Advanced Spectroscopic Ellipsometry. Examples and Applications in R&D and Industry", "Ellipsometry and roughness : a practical approach" and "Optical transitions of π-conjugated organic materials for solar cells determined by Spectroscopic Ellipsometry"

27th January 2014

A Seminar on Effect of Na on CIGSe thin fims and devices. Flexible solar cells. Possible extrapolation to Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4? will be offered by the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid next 28th of February.

The seminar will consist on an overview of the effect of Na on Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGSe) thin films on different substrates will be presented. Moreover, a brief introduction of Na influence on Cu2ZnSn(S,Se)4 materials on different substrates will be done based in the available literature

8th November 2013

KESTCELLS will participate in the second EU PV Clusters Workshop and General Assembly that will take place in Barcelona (Spain) in November 2013. The event is organized with the support of the SCALENANO European project (, XaRmae (Catalan Network of Excellence on Materials for Energy) and the University of Barcelona. This Workshop builds on the success of the first Workshop on "Photovoltaics and nanotechnology: from innovation to industry", a timely and very successful event organized by CEA (France), which launched the "EU PV Clusters" of projects ( ) at the end of 2010.

This Workshop is intended to contribute to a European strategy on nanotechnology for PV innovation, aligned to and complementing the global European energy strategy for 2020, to help bringing promising results to the market, in line with the objectives of Horizon 2020, the next EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation due to start in 2014.

The workshop will take place on 26th-28th November 2013 in Barcelona (Spain), at the Lecture Hall (Aula Magna) of the University of Barcelona. 

The Workshop flyer is available here

31 October 2013.

seminar on “Optoelectrical characterization of thin films photovoltaics absorbers and devices”  will be offered by the IREC next 25th of November.  

In this Seminar, electrical properties of semiconductors and main techniques for the electrical characterization of materials will be reviewed  by Dr. C.M. Ruiz-Herrero. After, Dr. V. Bermudez will present the most important techniques for the optoelectronic characterization of solar cells, including some practical cases.

24 October 2013.

A seminar on “Characterisation of novel Solar Cells” will be offered by the University of Northumbria next 21st of November. Speaker will be Dr. N.S.Beattie. 

An introduction to some common measurements techniques used for solar cells. In particular, data from quantum dot solar cells will be presented to illustrate characterisation techniques such as PL, AFM and external quantum efficiency. Following the seminar, a practical demonstration with the AFM will be provided.

 14 October 2013.

A seminar on “Safety Assessment and Comparing Safety Records and Public Recognition of Various Energy Supplies” will be offered by the Free Univerity of Berlin next 25-11-13 The speaker will be Dr. Holger Tietze-Jaentsch, Head of Product Quality Control Office for Radioactive Waste at the Forschungszentrum Jülich, Institute of Energy and Climate Research, Nuclear Safety Research and Waste Management (IEK-6).

30 September 2013

A Seminar on Phase Diagrams will be offered the next 5th of November at EMPA. An introduction to the basics of phase diagrams and their applications for chalcogenide materials relevant to solar cells. The theoretical part will be preceded with a  practical session on metallographic analysis.

26 September 2013

A series of lectures will be offered the 15th,17th and 22nd of October by the Department of Physics and Astronomy of the University of Uppsala on the topic "Thermodynamics of phase diagrams".  

2 August, 2013.

First Workshop organized in the frame of project Kestcells.

As part of the training program of the Early Stage Researchers five thematic workshops will be organized. The First one will take place in the University of Luxembourg next 19th of September and will be focused in Advanced Characterisation Techniques for Thin Film Technologies. The workshop is open to researcher outside the network prior registration.

2 July, 2013.

The first seminars organized in the frame of Kestcells Project have started.
As a part of the training program of the new recruited early stage researchers, a series of Seminars are being organized for the different partners of Kestcells project. The Seminars addressed the different topics of thin films technology including fundamental properties of semiconductors, main aspects of material science, layers growth and characterization, solar cells fabrication and its optoelectronic characterization, etc. Schedule of the seminars are coordinated at the level of the Network, to facilitate participation of researchers from other centres interested in the seminar topics


28 February 2013

The six month meeting of the Kestcells project will be hosted by Uppsala University – Angstrom Solar Centre in Uppsala, Sweden from March 14th-15th 2013. In this meeting the first ESR’s contracted under the frame of Kestcells will participate, presenting their thesis project. Also, the results obtained in WP01 and WP02 during the first six months of the project will be presented, and the scientific work for the next six months will be discussed by the two on-going workpackages as well as for WP03, WP04 and WP05.

8 November 2012

The Kick-off meeting of the Kestcells project took place at the IREC laboratories in Barcelona last October 10th 2012. The Nine academic partners as well as the two industrial ones took part in the meeting, where were discussed the objectives, implementation, work-plan and training program of the project. A review of the management issues specially focused in the well practices for recruitment was done, as the recruitment of the first ESR’s is one the crucial activities during the next six months. Other important points like the selection of the logo and the structure of the project web site were discussed. The next consortium meeting will take place at the University of Uppsala in six month time.

6 November 2012


Kestcells Project starts the recruitment process with the publication of the first 8 ESR’s positions at: Institut de Recerca de l’Energia de Catalunya IREC (2 positions), Université du Luxembourg (1 position), Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie HZB (1 position), University of Northumbria at Newcastle (1 position), Université d’Aix Marseille (1 position), Freie Universitaet Berlin (1 position), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (1 position) and Uppsala Universitet (1 position). The recruitment process will be open, transparent, impartial and equitable following the guidelines of the European Charter of Researchers, and the incorporation of the new 9 ESR’s will be during the first 5 months of next year.

6 November 2012

Workshop kesterites

The University of Luxembourg, one of the partners of Kestcells Project, will organize the 3rd European Kesterite Workshop the next 22nd and 23rd November 2012. It will be a forum for the most relevant experts from Europe in kesterite solar cells. This workshop continues the work done in the previous workshops in Uppsala and Barcelona. The topics discussed will cover all relevant aspects of the material and the solar cells: growth of kesterite films and crystals, electronic and structural properties of kesterite materials, device structure and characterization. Several partners of Kestcells will take part in the organization and scientific committee of the workshop as well as in the presentation of the last results on these materials. Additional information.

Full title Training for sustainable low cost PV technologies: development of kesterite based efficient solar cells
Project no FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN-316488
Coordination IREC

IREC, UL, HZB, EMPA, UN, AMU, FUB, UAM, UU-ASC, NEXCIS Photovoltaic Technology, ASNT.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no [316488]. Sole responsibility lies with the authors and the European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained therein.

Timeframe KESTCELLS runs from 1 September 2012 – 31 August 2016

coordinated by IREC