Unlocking the Terawatt era
of Photovoltaics

Resource Challenge

Silver is vital for the efficient operation of silicon photovoltaics (PVs). In the coming decade, the PV industry is projected to scale exponentially. However, the rapid increase in silver demand by PV manufacturers will outstrip global supply, derailing the essential role PV technology will play in reaching climate change objectives.

The widening supply deficit for silver is particularly acute for heterojunction technology (HJT) PVs. This promising platform boasts numerous advantages over conventional PVs (i.e., PERC, TOPCon) including higher efficiencies, longer lifetimes and fewer manufacturing steps. But a substantial drawback is that HJT PV devices require significantly more silver and the rare earth metal indium to function.

Our Solution

Animation created by: Hilda Genander & Johanna Körner
Animation created by: Hilda Genander & Johanna Körner
Our innovation is a nanothin, transparent silver alloy that aims to significantly reduce silver usage in the PV cell by up to 90% through elimination of the grid-patterned current collectors. In addition, it also removes the need for an indium tin oxide (ITO) layer in the device. The transparent silver alloy serves as a Key Enabling Technology (KET) for hyper-scaling PV manufacturing in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and facilitates a viable route for re-shoring sustainable PV manufacturing to Europe.
Our innovation is a nanothin, transparent silver alloy that aims to significantly reduce silver usage in the PV cell by up to 90% through elimination of the grid-patterned current collectors. In addition, it also removes the need for an indium tin oxide (ITO) layer in the device. The transparent silver alloy serves as a Key Enabling Technology (KET) for hyper-scaling PV manufacturing in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and facilitates a viable route for re-shoring sustainable PV manufacturing to Europe.
Our nanomaterial innovation is based on over a decade of fundamental research in thin film physics, surface science and advanced modeling/simulations; also, the underlying deeptech has been industrially validated, i.e., it’s been de-risked via multiple demonstrations in a production environment.
Our innovation is a nanothin, transparent silver alloy that aims to significantly reduce silver usage in the PV cell by up to 90% through elimination of the grid-patterned current collectors. In addition, it also removes the need for an indium tin oxide (ITO) layer in the device. The transparent silver alloy serves as a Key Enabling Technology (KET) for hyper-scaling PV manufacturing in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement, and facilitates a viable route for re-shoring sustainable PV manufacturing to Europe.

Upscaling Project

Funded by EIT RawMaterials KAVA program

During a 3-year project that commenced in January 2024, a consortium led by MIMSI Materials will together with Institute for Solar Energy Research in Hamelin (ISFH), University of Helsinki and Trinity College Dublin build upon MIMSI’s core innovation. The development of this novel material was previously funded by EIT RawMaterials via a smaller project that successfully reached key technical milestones. The KAVA project aims to adapt and scale-up the deeptech innovation to prepare the technology for commercial deployment.

Consortium Partners

Sustainability Impact

Silicon PV is a key renewable energy technology to decarbonize society and represents the most cost-efficient route for generating electricity in many regions. As the world transitions away from fossil fuels to sustainable energy production, inelastic demand for precious and rare earth materials is soaring; this has tremendous implications for realizing the full potential of this promising green technology.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

By enabling the rapid scaling of PV manufacturing and deployment, our material represents an important puzzle piece to substantially increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix (SDG 7.2.1).

Our material innovation is a Key Enabling Technology for re-shoring and scaling sustainable PV manufacturing in Europe, which will increase the number of green jobs on the continent and help to future-proof regional manufacturing (SDGs 9.2.1, 9.4.1).

By enabling significantly more resource-efficient solar cells, our innovation contributes to reducing the material footprint of PVs, which in turn will contribute to reducing the competition for precious and rare earth materials between different renewable energy technologies (SDG 12.2.1).

Our innovation can contribute to the substantial reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the hyper-scaling of PV manufacturing and deployment required to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Upcoming Events to Meet Us

May
NREL Industry Growth Forum, May 1-3 2024, Denver, CO
SVC TechCon, May 8-9 2024, Chicago, IL
EMRS, May 27-31 2024, Strasbourg, France

June
Intersolar Europe, June 19-21 2024, Munich, Germany

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