Marika Edoff, Professor of Solid State Electronics

Marika Edoff stands by a glass wall at the Ångström laboratory. Both hers and the corridor's reflection can be seen on the wall.

Photo: Mikael Wallerstedt

Marika Edoff is Professor of Solid State Electronics at the Department of Engineering Sciences, where she heads a research group working with thin film solar cells.

What progress have you made recently?
“Solar cells are today the fastest growing form of energy. Our research benefits companies that develop and produce solar cells for use anywhere in the world. Thin-film solar cells are very well suited for integration into buildings. One example is the building called ‘Frodeparken’ here in Uppsala, which is covered in thin-film solar cells manufactured by our spin-off company Solibro.”

“Within the group we coordinate an ongoing Horizon 2020 project involving ultra-thin CIGS solar cells with a current efficiency of 21 per cent. This makes us one of the world’s leading research groups in this field. We also develop solar cells of elements with a high incidence on Earth, so-called CZTS photovoltaic cells, and solar cells made with tin sulfide and recently also made from olivines.”

Do you work together with other parts of the University today?
“We cooperate with the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Department of Chemistry on research on combining different solar cell technologies into one tandem solar cell for improved optimisation of the solar spectra. We also work together with the Division for Solid State Physics on the development of water splitting using photocatalysis. This transforms water into hydrogen and oxygen, with efficiency currently above 12 per cent. This is done within the framework of the H2020 project PECSYS, where we are one of six partners.”

Which do you think are the main future challenges in your field?
“There is competition from producers in China, where a vast portion of the world’s solar cells are manufactured. There is a risk that interest in research will decline in the Western world when the manufacturing is not located here. This will slow down development and cause integration in buildings and large-scale facilities to not increase as quickly as necessary for the climate.”

Which cooperations and initiatives would you like to see in the future?
“A continued focus on photovoltaic research in Sweden and Europe in order to promote an increase in skills and the development of future industries. In future, knowledge of solar cells should also be part of the training of engineers as the use of solar energy becomes an increasingly integrated part of buildings and technical products.”

Karl Åstrand