The Centre of Excellence in Nanoelectronics (CEN) at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay was established in the year 2006. CEN is a collaborative project between IIT Bombay and IISc Bangalore. It is funded by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT), Government of India. CEN offers multidisciplinary research program involving faculty from various departments.
The center focuses on the design, fabrication and characterization of traditional CMOS nanoelectronic devices, novel material based devices (III-V compound semiconductor, spintronics, opto-electronics), micromechanical systems, Bio-MEMS, solar photovoltaics and polymer based devices.
CEN is a resource formed to serve academic, industrial and governmental researchers in the field of nanoelectronics from across the country. The center also offers support to perform on-site fabrication using its equipment. The center's objective is to create technically sophisticated manpower for nanoelectronics research, including inter-university network. In addition to the research activities, CEN is also involved in developing technologies that can be commercially availed by the industries.
- Characterization System
Silicon solar cells
Description : Solar cells made from silicon (wafers, thin-films) dominate the global PV market. To further reduce
the cost of PV electricity, continuous improvements with respect to efficiency and/or manufacturing cost of PV modules are required.
To contribute to this effort, NCPRE establishes and operates pilot lines for both siliconwafer solar cells and silicon thin-film solar cells.
The lines are capable of processing industry-size silicon wafers.
The focus of the R&D work in the Silicon Wafer Solar Cell Group is on the development of cost-effective processes capable of
realising high solar cell efficiency on thin wafers (< 150 microns), while maintaining an excellent yield in the manufacturing process.
New materials and devices
Description : Current PV conversion technologies puts challenges in terms
of amount material utilization, long term stability, conversion efficiency, energy storage density and most importantly from the market point of view,
cost competitiveness with other technologies. Thin film solar cells (TFSC) are a promising approach for terrestrial and space photovoltaics and offer a wide
variety of choices in terms of the device design and fabrication. A variety of substrates (flexible or rigid, metal or insulator) can be used for deposition
of different layers (contact, buffer, absorber, reflector, etc.) using different techniques (PVD, CVD, ECD, plasma-based, hybrid, etc.). Such versatility
allows tailoring and engineering of the layers in order to improve device performance. For large-area devices required for realistic applications,
thin-film device fabrication becomes complex and requires proper control over the entire process sequence. Proper understanding of thin-film deposition
processes can help in achieving high-efficiency devices over large areas, as has been demonstrated commercially for different cells.
Research and development in new, exotic and simple materials and devices, and innovative, but simple manufacturing processes need to be pursued in a
focussed manner. Which cell(s) and which technologies will ultimately succeed commercially continue to be anybody's guess, but it would surely be
determined by the simplicity of manufacturability and the cost per reliable watt.
Solar PV systems and modules
Description : Energy storage is an important component that enables wide
spread usage of the PV generated electricity in off grid applications. Storage is necessary to provide energy when the sun is not shining.
Solar energy systems aims at making solar power a trusted source of electricity by
- increasing its availability through designing
high-performing solar systems (locations, components, layout).
- increasing its predictability through forecasting irradiance and solar power
generation several hours in advance
- increasing reliability through closely monitoring and remotely controlling of the solar power systems
Characterization, simulation and modelling
Description : Characterization, Simulation and Modelling is one of the key feature of NCPRE as it can play a
key role in developing state of the art solar PV technologies and related systems. Characterization of materials, devices and modules is required for
successful technology developments. Modelling and simulation is required to estimate the strength of new concepts and feasibility before realizing it
actually, in order to save money and time. It is also required to estimate the effect of independent parameter variation which is difficult in experiments
due to many uncontrolled parameter variations. Modelling and simulation also helps in optimizing parameters before going at experimental level without doing
much iteration at experimental level.