Scientific Council

Scientific Council

PVthin Scientific Council

PVthin invites leading researchers in the field of thin film photovoltaics to join the PVthin Scientific Council. Future objectives will include:

  • Providing guidance on research and development policy positions
  • Recognizing outstanding junior research in the field of thin film PV with the PVthin Research Award
  • Participatingin the European Technology and Innovation Platform PV (ETIP PV) through involvement in the Steering Committee
  • Proposing the inclusion of a dedicated thin film roadmap for the International Technology Roadmap PV (ITRPV)
  • Leveraging PVthin as a platform to promote the unique properties of thin film PV
  • Providing a forum to update research groups on regulatory developments in Europe e.g. the Eco-Labeling and Eco-Design Directives

The PVthin Scientific Council’s input will be crucial in the shaping of regulatory tools for the EU single market for green products which can create market uptake incentives for thin film technologies as a result of their leading environmental profile. A great example of how thin film PV’s superior carbon footprint can translate into tangible business opportunities was demonstrated in France, where over one third of winning bids in the recent French PV tenders were using thin-film PV! The PVthin Scientific Council will help complement the consortium which is currently dominated by crystalline silicon PV companies, led by INES and Fraunhofer ISE.


Ayodhya N. Tiwari
Professor Dr. Ayodhya N. Tiwari is the Head of the Laboratory for Thin Films and Photovoltaics at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Science and Technology (EMPA) and Adjunct Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich). He is the Chairman and a co-founder of Flisom AG, a Swiss company developing and manufacturing innovative light-weight flexible thin film solar modules. Dr. Tiwari has more than 35 years of R&D experience in various photovoltaic technologies. He leads EMPA’s PV group which has made several important contributions in the field of CIGS and CdTe thin film solar cells on glass and flexible substrates including record efficiencies of 20.4% for flexible CIGS cells and 13.8% for flexible CdTe solar cells. Other innovative developments include flexible CIGS solar cells on low cost aluminum foil, the application of simple and safe non-vacuum CIGS and Kesterite deposition processes, as well as high efficiency multi-junction (tandem) solar cells based on CIGS, CdTe, and Dye sensitized solar cells.
Henry J. Snaith
Professor Henry J. Snaith FRS is a Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford and is the Co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Oxford Photovoltaics, a pioneering UK solar technology company that is leading the commercialization of perovskite technology. Professor Snaith leads a research group of 20 scientists focused on advancing the next generation of solar technologies including solid-state dye-sensitized, hybrid and perovskite solar cells. His current research is focused on developing new PV materials and understanding and controlling the physical processes that occur within the devices. He has made a number of advances and discoveries, with the most notable being the exciting discovery of metal halide perovskites. Perovskite is the fastest improving solar cell technology known to date. In 2013, Professor Snaith was named one of Nature’s ten people who mattered in 2013, in recognition of his work on next generation solar power technology.
Alessandro Romeo
Professor Alessandro Romeo is an Associate Professor at the University of Verona where he leads research on the preparation, fabrication and characterization of second generation thin film solar cells. As a research fellow at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich) in 1997, Professor Romeo developed a process for the deposition of thin film CdTe/CdS solar cells which achieved efficiencies that exceeded 10%. His current research focuses on new applications of CdTe thin film solar cells on flexible substrates, innovative structures, and alternative back contacts that enable high stability and bifacial configurations. By using a transparent conductive oxide as a back contact, the CdTe solar cells are able to absorb light from both sides with efficiencies of more than 10%. Professor Romeo worked closely with the thin film physics group at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology to achieve a world record efficiency for flexible CdTe solar cells on a polymer substrate. Professor Romeo is also involved in the commercialization of an 18 MW CdTe PV production plant near Milan, the first thin film module manufacturing facility in Italy.
Vasilis Fthenakis
Professor Vasilis Fthenakis is the Founder and Director of the Center for Life Cycle Analysis (CLCA) of Columbia University. He also leads the National PV Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Research Center operating at Brookhaven National Lab (BNL) under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Energy. Professor Fthenakis has led international forums on the life cycle analysis of PV technologies, under the auspices of European Union’s-Joint Research Center (JRC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA). He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the International Energy Foundation. In the area of life cycle analysis, Professor Fthenakis concentrated on 2nd generation thin-film photovoltaics for which there were no previous studies. His current research focuses on PV recycling, life-cycle environmental impact analysis, air pollution prevention and control, and modeling of accidental chemical releases. Professor Fthenakis has received multiple Commendations and Certificates of Appreciation from the Department of Energy as well as a Commendation from the Director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) for his exemplary performance on PV safety analysis reviews.
Martha Christina Lux Steiner
Professor Dr. Martha Christina Lux-Steiner is Head of the Institute for Heterogeneous Material Systems at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and is a Professor of Physics at the Free University of Berlin in German. Her Heterogeneous Material Systems research group focuses on new, highly absorbing semiconductor materials for use in thin-film solar cells. The aim is both the development of new processes and the application of industry-relevant technologies for the production of thin semiconductor layers. Other research areas focus on the development of new wet chemical deposition methods, new solar cell concepts, and new electronic components to develop quantum computers. Professor Lux-Steiner is a member of various international and national advisory boards and committees and has been awarded the Bundesverdienstkreuz Erster Klasse (Federal Cross of Merit 1st Class) by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1999 for her outstanding achievements in the area of research and development and her efforts to enhance cooperation between research centers and the industry (particularly SMEs and spin-offs) within the Berlin and Brandenburg region.



Thin Film PV Technologies

Life Cycle Analysis