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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.



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.

Co-financed by the Seventh Framework programme of the European community (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement nº316488 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