CNRS (Centre National de Recherche Scientifique)

This partner is composed of four entities belonging to CNRS but also to Universities (third parties): ICube (CNRS), CEMTHI (CNRS, University of Orleans), PROMES (CNRS, University of Perpignan) and IPCMS (CNRS, University of Strasbourg).


CNRS-ICube (Institut d'Électronique du Solide et des Systèmes) is a joint laboratory (Laboratoire Commun, UMR 7163) of Strasbourg University (UdS), and of the National Center for Scientific Research (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CNRS). The research activities carried out at ICube extend from solid state electronics to electronics of systems. The different topics concern materials and nanotechnologies for electronics, materials and concepts for photovoltaics, instrumentations and microsystems. In particular, the Research pursued in the field of photovoltaic conversion aims at increasing the conversion efficiency while reducing the cost of solar cells. Several directions are explored: Advanced designs for photovoltaic solar cells based on thinned silicon wafers, thin layer silicon materials on foreign substrates, inorganic and organic nanostructured materials for photovoltaics. The photovoltaic group was involved in many National (ADEME-CNRS-CEA) and European projects (OTP(97/98), LTC(98/00), LPC(99/01), SICRYT (99/01), COMPOSIT(01/03), SUBARO(02/04), LATECS(03/05), INDHI(03/05), CRYSTALCLEAR (04/09)). Since 2010, The PV group is involved in FP6-HIGH-EF, FP7-POLYSIMODE and EUROGIA-LAPSIS as well as in ANR-Habisol RUBANSOLAIRE, POLYSIVERRE, CASIMIR, SILASOL, and more recently in PROGELEC-BIFASOL.


The photovoltaic team of ICube will address many tasks in the project: Formation of polysilicon films by aluminium induced crystallization or laser processing, hydrogen passivation, fabrication of solar cells, testing and demonstrating feasibility of the TF-Si based solar cells under MPCs conditions. ICube will offer many technological tools for this purpose: SILVACO software, lamps furnace, excimer lasers, PECVD for Si formation and sputtering equipment for ZnO deposition, clean room with photolithography. Besides a batch of equipments for the materials analysis, will be provided: structural analysis (Raman, photoluminescence, RBS, ERDA…), optical analysis (Spectroscopic ellipsometry, reflectance…) and electrical measurements (dark and illumination I-V, spectral response, minority carrier lifetime…).




CEMHTI (Conditions Extremes et Matériaux: Hautes Températures et Irradiation) is a Joint Research Unit, involving two institutions: CNRS and University of Orléans. In the current project, University of Orléans is a third party linked to the CNRS via a special Clause 10 to the Grant Agreement. The laboratory has an international expertise in chemistry and physics of materials at high temperature (up to 3 000°C) and/or under irradiation. The scientific project of the laboratory is built around a set of experimental tools developed specifically for high temperature approach of solids and liquids materials, and for a better description of defects formation and evolution under different conditions of irradiation. CEMHTI’s expertise gathers recognized r search teams and unique experimental devices as two remarkable tools at the European level, Solid High Resolution and High Temperature, 750 and 850 MHz NMR spectrometers. The two teams involved in this program have worked for several years on solar (thermal and PV) materials and processes.


CEMHTI has an expertise in some areas of photovoltaic materials as well as materials for solar energy storage. One of the two teams involved uses to work on mono, multi-crystalline Si and thin layer PV cells and will work in this project on:

i) Production of thin crystalline silicon films by exfoliation (smart-cut procedure) by using hydrogen implantation. Technique like PIII (plasma immersion ion implantation) can also be used to produce low cost thin layers.

ii) Formation of metallic nano-particles by various approaches including chemical, evaporation and plasma techniques. Size, form and density of nano-particles have to be adjusted: size larger than λ/10 might lead to diffusion regime. 

iii) Characterization of samples by various techniques including PL, RBS, IR, DRX, UV-VIS absorption.


The other team is more dedicated to the characterization of materials combining classical structural approach at room temperature with in situ description at high temperature (DRX-HT,ESEM, NMR), and thermal properties (DSC,ATD/ATG, IR emissivity..) up to more than 1500°C. They will work on:

i)Characterization of storage system materials: structure and evolution over thermal cycles up to high temperature (in situ HT DRX and ESEM up to 1500°C, DSC up to 1600°C, solid state NMR at room temperature/ high temperature and high magnetic fields)

ii)Description of the heat transfer mechanisms: radiative and convective transfers with the heat transfer fluid and conductive transfer within the material itself (IR emissivity up to 2000°C)




PROMES (PROcédés, Matériaux et Energie Solaire (PROMES – UPR8521) is a Joint Research Unit, involving two institutions: CNRS and Univeristy of Perpignan. In the current project, University of Perpignan is a third party linked to the CNRS via a special Clause 10 to the Grant Agreement. PROMES is the unique French CNRS unit devoted to concentrated solar energy. For more than 40 years, the laboratory leads researches in specific materials able to bear extreme conditions in energy flux, temperature and atmosphere and related processes using the Odeillo solar furnace (the largest in the world) and the central receiver CSP pilot plant of Themis. Among the 170 staff members, the SHPE team focuses on storage materials and systems for solar applications and especially solar power plants. Several European, national and industrial research projects have been already achieved or are still under progress on this task and related international papers published. The team is specifically expert in composite phase change based energy storage materials for enhanced storage and discharge power levels and in high temperature (up to 1100°C) sensible heat refractory ceramics made of recycled industrial wastes.


PROMES has an expertise in CSP processes as well as in materials and systems related to solar energy storage based on sensible heat, latent heat and thermochemical reactions. The related teams will work in this project on:

1) identification of natural rocks as candidates to be used as thermal storage materials.

2) characterization of the selected materials in terms of thermophysical properties related to thermal storage.

3) characterization of the selected materials in terms of ability to resist to thermal cycling and compatibility with heat transfer fluids used in CSP.

4) definition of relevant geometry of thermal transfer based upon simulations and experimentations.

5) experimental tests in pilot storage unit using hot air as HTF.



The Institute of Physics and Chemistry of Materials of Strasbourg (IPCMS) is a joint research unit of CNRS and University of Strasbourg. Since the IPCMS creation in 1987, the objective has been to develop new materials and cutting edge technologies to tackle key issues in optics, electronics or magnetism, and more recently to launch new emerging projects in nanosciences. Currently, it aims at developing and studying nano-objects or nanostructured materials at the forefront of societal concerns such as communication technologies, energy or health. The strategy is to bridge fundamental research and advanced technology in the emerging research topics of nanosciences, notably thanks to the recruitment of top scientists to launch new research programs.


IPCMS has a strong competence in different types of materials microanalysis and characterization. Within the project, IPCMS will mainly focus on characterizing structural and spectroscopic properties of grown samples using high resolution techniques (XRD, HRTEM, SEM...).



Project Coordinator: Abdelilah Slaoui, ICUBE (CNRS - Univ.Strasbourg) 23 rue du Loess, B.P. 20

F-67037 - Strasbourg Cedex 02


Phone : + 33 3 88 10 63 36

Fax : +33 1 02 03 04 06

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