BiographyChristophe Ballif is director of the Phototovoltaics and Thin Film Electronics Laboratoryb) (PV-Lab at the institute of microengineering (IMT) in Neuchâtel (part of the EPFL since 2009). The lab focus is on the science and technology of high efficiency heterojunction crystalline cells,so-called passivating contacts for solar cells, multi-junction solar cells including reccord novel generation Perovskite on silicon tandem cells, on innovative optical high speed detector and on various macroelectronics application. It also deals with energy management with a focus on integration of solar electricity into the energy system. The PV-Lab has strongly contributed to technology transfer and industrialization of novel devices and full technology with numerous companies.
Christophe Ballif graduated as a physicist from the EPFL in 1994, where he also obtained in 1998 his Phd degree working on novel PV materials. He accomplished his postdoctoral research at NREL (Golden, US) on compound semiconductor solar cells (CIGS and CdTe). He worked then at the Fraunhofer ISE (Ge) on crystalline silicon photovoltaics (monocrystalline and multi-crystalline) until 2003 and then at the EMPA in Thun (CH) before becoming full professor at the University of Neuchâtel IMT in 2004, taking over the chair of Prof. A. Shah.
Since 2013, C.Ballif is also the director of the CSEM Sustainable Energy Center, also located in Neuchâtel. This Center focuses on industrialisation and technology transfer in the field of solar energy, including energy management and storage. CSEM operates several "pilot lines" for various kinds of solar cells manufacturing, with advanced coating technologies, wet chemistry processes for crystalline silicon, metalisation techniques for solar cells, perovskite and tandem solar cells, as well as unique platform for developing "ideal packaging solutions and polymers" for PV modules. In addition, joined facitilites between CSEM and EPFL of over 800 m2 are available for modules manufacturing, measurement and accelerated aging test. CSEM has also full teams dedicated to storage (from front end batteries to advanced BMS systems), and digitalisation of the energy systems.
He (co-) authored over 600 journal and technical papers, as well as several patents. He is an elected member of the SATW, member of the scientific council of the Swiss AEE, and member of the board of the EPFL Energy center. In 2016, he recieved the Becquerel prize for his contributions to the field of high efficiency photovoltaics.
Teaching & PhD