IPVF/ILV Internship: Coupling of Advanced Chemical Characterization by XPS and GD-OES

Contract type: Internship

Starting date: March 2021

Duration: 6 months

Working Place: Institut Lavoisier (ILV), Versailles

Education: Master 2 ; Engineer

Salary: Salary grid

IPVF in brief

Become an actor of the Energy Transition by joining a team driven by innovation and impact to address today’s most decisive challenges.

IPVF – Institut Photovoltaïque d’Île-de-France, is a global Research, Innovation and Education center, which mission is to accelerate energy transition through science & technology.

Gathering industrial PV leaders (EDF, Total, Air Liquide, Horiba and Riber) and world-renowned academic research teams (CNRS, Ecole Polytechnique), multi-disciplinary and international IPVF teams conduct research for clean energy technologies.

Supported by the French State, IPVF is labelled Institute for Energy Transition (ITE).

IPVF at a glance:

  • An ambitious Scientific and Technological Program: from tandem solar cell technologies to economy & market assessment, state-of-the art characterization, photocatalysis and concepts breakthrough.
  • A state-of-the-art technological platform: more than 100 tools, located in cleanrooms (advanced characterization, materials deposition, prototypes for fabrication, modelling…).
  • A high-standard Education program (M.S. and PhD students).

Job context

Perovskite-based solar cells have undergone rapid development in the power conversion efficiency (PCE), increasing from 2.2% to 25.2% between 2006 and 2019 . In order to compete with silicon technology, these cells must provide a combination of high efficiency, low manufacturing costs, and excellent stability. Therefore, researchers have focused on optimizing the chemical structure of Perovskite leading to the triple cation structure known as FAMACs. In addition, electron transport layer (ETL) and hole transport layer (HTL), as well as the interfaces, have proved to play a critical role in improving not only the efficiency, but also the intrinsic and extrinsic stability of the devices . During past years, several characterizations have been performed on Perovskite layers in order to access crystallographic, optical, electrical and chemical information. This is the framework of this internship which aims to get further insight into the critical role of perovskite / (ETL) interface on device behavior by probing the chemical composition from the surface to the interfaces. Specific in-depth profiling methodology based on a coupling of two chemical characterization techniques, X Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS) and Glow Discharge Optical Emission Spectroscopy (GDOES), will be applied to perovskite / ETL stacks. It is important to highlight that the sequences of GD-OES and XPS was successfully applied on photovoltaic absorbers such as CIGS or III-V materials . Other structural and optical characterizations are also considered in order to better understand the mechanisms of aging and instability.

P. Schulz et al, Chem. Rev. (2019), 119, 5, 3349-3417
D. Mercier et al, Applied Surface Science, 347 (2015) 799–807
S. Béchu et al, Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology B, (2019), 37, 062902

IPVF Research Program involving this internship position: https://ipvf.fr/jean-paul-kleider-philip-schulz-and-daniel-ory-introducing-programme-4-characterization-modeling-reliability/

Main missions

This internship is part of a collaborative project lead by IPVF (Photovoltaic Institute of Ile-de-France) and will mainly take place at the Lavoisier Institute in Versailles (Versailles). The idea is to take advantage of the two techniques : XPS allows to precisely probe the composition of the extreme surface and thus to have access to the atomic composition as well as their chemical environments. The GD-OES, semi-quantitative technique, assures a fast depth profiling to quickly reach specific areas of interest in-depth.

  • First, an optimization of the operating conditions of the GD-OES will be carried out in order to minimize the degradation of the Perovskite layers.
  • Then, the craters resulting from profiling by GD-OES will be chemically studied by XPS in order to determine the chemical composition at different level of the layer as well as in the Perovskite / ETL interface area. Additional optical and structural characterizations will also be considered.
  • Finally, the in-depth study via both characterization techniques will also be applied for the study of a complete solar cell.

Expected profile


  • Physical – chemistry
  • Materials science
  • Energy – photovoltaic


  • Characterization of thin films would be a plus
  • Writing / communication
  • Organization

Self-management skills

  • Team work
  • Adaptability
  • Independent


Cover letter and CV to be sent to : pia.dally@ipvf.fr
Specify the title of the offer in the subject line of the email

Need a direct line?

Feel free to contact us for more information about our offers.

  • +33(0)1 69 86 58 60
  • contact@ipvf.fr