Latest news

PVMD is proud to announce that Arno Smets has been appointed to Antoni van Leeuwenhoek professor!

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Study with us

In addition to our courses on solar cells technology, several SIP2 projects, internships, and MSc thesis projects are available. Check them out here.

Solar Energy MOOC

Dr. Arno Smets is developing a massive open online course (MOOC) on Solar Energy. 


 More details about this MOOC can be found here.


Photovoltaic Materials and Devices

Program goal

The program of the PVMD group builds up expertise in the design and fabrication technology of solar cells and other devices based on thin semiconductor films. The current focus is on amorphous and nano-crystalline silicon films fabricated at low temperatures (< 200 °C) using CVD (Chemical Vapour Deposition) techniques. The group specializes in applying advanced measurement techniques in combination with computer modeling for determination of (opto-) electronic properties, such as the density of defects in thin layers of disordered materials. The acquired expertise is used for the optimization of thin-film silicon solar cells and for the development of novel concepts using nano-structured materials for future high-efficient solar cells. A new research field of the group is directed towards the development of electronic components on flexible plastic substrates using thin-film silicon technology. 


Several research projects have been granted to PVMD group. Two research teams work on highly efficient thin-film silicon solar cells. The Thin-Film Silicon Technology team focuses on the development of stable materials and fast deposition-rate technique. The Novel Concepts team investigates the application of light management techniques in thin-film silicon solar cells.

Materials and technologies for low-cost solar cells
The primary aim is to carry out research on thin silicon films deposited using chemical vapour deposition techniques and to develop thin-film silicon high-efficient solar cell on glass or flexible substrates. The thin-film solar cell approach is expected to result in substantially lower the cost of solar electricity.

  • NOVASIL (Novel approach to thin-film crystalline silicon on glass)
  • ECN-HIT (Heterojunction with Intrinsic Thin layer)
  • CR Nuon-Helantios

Advanced concepts for high-efficiency solar cells
In this research area several new concepts for increasing the efficiency of thin-film solar cells are investigated. These new concepts deal with the manipulation of light propagation and result in a more efficient use of the solar spectrum by solar cells.

  • ALTIS (Advanced Light Trapping In thin-film silicon Solar cells)
  • CR Nuon-Helianthos
  • VIDI project - Arno Smets
  • ADEM


As photovoltaic solar cells are now widely accepted in society and have been implemented successfully in the market, an increasing number of students are interested in this field of energy conversion. The PVMD group offers B.Sc. and M.Sc. grade courses for TUDelft students.

The following courses are offered by PMVD:

ET4376 (Q1): Photovoltaic Basics
ET4379 (Q4, Q5): Photovoltaic Lab Course
SET4149 (Q4): Practical Solar Energy
ET4149TUp (Q4): Practical Course on Solar Cells
ET4377 (Q2): Photovoltaic Technologies
ET4379 (Q4, Q5): Photovoltaic Lab Course
ET4292 (Q2): Physics of Semiconductor Devices
ET4377 (Q2): Photovoltaic Technologies
ET4379 (Q4, Q5): Photovoltaic Lab Course
ET3034TU (Q1): Solar Cells
EE2621 (Q4): Duurzame Energie
Massive Open On-line Course Solar Energy
ET4378 (Q3): Photovoltaic Systems
ET4379 (Q4, Q5): Photovoltaic Lab Course
ET3037TU (Q2): Project Integrating Renewable Energy  

Name author: Olindo Isabella
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