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10 Jul 2018

Continuing research collab­or­ation between SERIS and FHR in the field of advanced TCO and contact coatings

SERIS and FHR continue successful collaboration. They are developing innovative TCO and metal contact layers for the solar industry. The focus is on new contact concepts for thin-film and silicon-based solar modules. The aim is to reduce toxic, rare, and expensive materials without compromising functionality.

On May 28th, 2018 the Solar Energy Research Insti­tute of Singa­pore (SERIS) and FHR Anla­gen­bau GmbH, Ger­many jointly announced to con­tinue the close col­lab­or­a­tion on the devel­op­ment of new Trans­par­ent Con­duct­ive Oxide (TCO) and metal con­tact coat­ings that have broad applic­a­tions in the solar industry. To meet indus­trial require­ments new con­tact con­cepts has to be imple­men­ted in the pro­duc­tion tech­no­lo­gies of thin film and sil­icon based solar pan­els. At SERIS, sev­eral years of exper­i­ence have been built up in thin-film tech­no­lo­gies, and a group of research­ers is work­ing on the devel­op­ment of next-gen­er­a­tion high-per­form­ance solar cells. In TCO devel­op­ment the use of toxic, scarce and expens­ive mater­i­als needs to be reduced or com­pletely elim­in­ated, without com­prom­ising the func­tional prop­er­ties. TCOs and metal con­tacts are widely used in thin-film solar cell tech­no­lo­gies such as CdTe, CIGS and amorph­ous sil­icon, they are also used in advanced high-per­form­ance sil­icon wafer solar cell tech­no­lo­gies such as het­ero­junc­tion solar cells. Both SERIS and FHR have agreed to share their exper­i­ence and ex­per­tise, and to join hands in a col­lab­or­at­ive pro­ject aim­ing at lower­ing the cost of solar energy.

"At SERIS we are con­tinu­ously work­ing to drive down the cost of solar energy.” said Pro­fessor Armin ABERLE, CEO of the Solar Energy Research Insti­tute of Singa­pore. “We explore advanced solar cell con­cepts and strive to imple­ment them in a high-volume, low-cost pro­cess. We are happy to con­tinue the long-term rela­tion­ship with FHR in this field."

Tor­sten Wink­ler, CEO of FHR Anla­gen­bau GmbH added that “It´s per­fect to bring both our long term exper­i­ence together to mas­ter the cost reduc­tion require­ments for advanced solar cell and panel. SERIS is for us the ideal Asian-based part­ner work­ing with their industry part­ners for the most advanced tech­no­lo­gies. By cooper­at­ing with SERIS we con­tinue a stra­tegic part­ner­ship with the aim of enhan­cing our lead­ing know-how in vacuum pro­cess tech­no­lo­gies on a high level and to offer state-of-the-art vacuum coat­ing solu­tions to our cus­tom­ers."

SERIS has acquired a state-of-the-art and highly ver­sat­ile in-line mag­net­ron sput­ter­ing plat­form from FHR, which provides excel­lent pro­cess con­trol and which is cap­able of depos­it­ing a vari­ety of advanced TCO mater­i­als onto sub­strates with a size of up to 300 mm x 400 mm. This plat­form will allow SERIS to become a lead­ing R&D centre in thin-film and het­ero­junc­tion solar cell research, push­ing these tech­no­lo­gies to a com­pet­it­ive pos­i­tion in the renew­able energy land­scape.


The Solar Energy Research Insti­tute of Singa­pore (SERIS) at the National Uni­versity of Singa­pore (NUS) is Singa­pore’s national insti­tute for applied solar energy research. SERIS is sup­por­ted by the National Uni­versity of Singa­pore (NUS), National Research Found­a­tion (NRF) and the Singa­pore Eco­nomic Devel­op­ment Board (EDB). SERIS con­ducts research, devel­op­ment, test­ing and con­sult­ing on solar energy tech­no­lo­gies and their integ­ra­tion into power sys­tems and build­ings. The insti­tute’s R&D spec­trum cov­ers mater­i­als, com­pon­ents, pro­cesses, sys­tems and ser­vices, with an emphasis on solar photo­vol­taic cells, mod­ules and sys­tems. SERIS is glob­ally act­ive but focuses on tech­no­lo­gies and ser­vices for trop­ical regions, in par­tic­u­lar for Singa­pore and South-East Asia. SERIS col­lab­or­ates closely with uni­versit­ies, research organ­isa­tions, gov­ern­ment agen­cies and industry, both loc­ally and glob­ally.

For more inform­a­tion on SERIS, please visit

For media enquir­ies, kindly con­tact:

Tan Mui Koon
Sci­entific Man­ager, Cor­por­ate Rela­tions
Phone: +65 66011356