IPVF Post-doc: Advanced Chemical Characterization of PV Materials (XPS & GD-OES)


Contract type: Fixed term

Starting date: ASAP

Duration: 36 months

Working Place: IPVF, Palaiseau (Paris-Saclay technology cluster) & ILV, Versailles

Education: PhD in materials science (or other relevant field)

Salary: Salary grid




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, TotalEnergies, Air Liquide, Horiba and Riber) and world-renowned academic research organizations (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 (6 programs divided in 24 work packages): from tandem solar cell technologies to economy & market assessment, state-of-the art characterization, photocatalysis and breakthrough concepts.
• State-of-the-art technological platform (8,000m²): more than 100 cutting-edge equipments worth €30M, located in cleanrooms (advanced characterization, materials deposition, prototypes for fabrication, modelling…).
• High-standard Education program (M.S. and PhD students).



Job context

Solar cells become more and more complex devices where it is now well known that the interfaces in particular play a fundamental role in the final performances and stability of photovoltaic devices 1. This makes the study of the physical and chemical phenomena occurring at these interfaces crucial. In particular, the accurate determination of the surface, in-depth and interfaces chemistry is a key point to optimize the cells fabrication process, to orientate the stack layering and prevent detrimental ageing phenomena. To do so, it is essential to dispose of a robust analysis methodology ensuring reliability and representativeness of the measurements. This approach is particularly challenging on perovskite solar cells because of the alternating of organic / inorganic layers, requiring a specific precaution during the analysis.

From a metrological point of view, having access to the chemistry at buried interfaces is not straightforward. In this sense, we have developed an analytical strategy enabling to perform advanced chemical characterizations from the surface to the bulk, starting from the materials building blocks to the entire cell, using essentially two characterization techniques: XPS (photoelectron spectroscopy) and GD-OES (glow discharge optical emission spectroscopy). Recent results on perovskite-based devices show that this innovative GD-OES/XPS coupling 2 is successful in the characterization of organic/inorganic buried interfaces. Nevertheless, adjustments are still needed to fulfill the specificities of each design of cell.

This approach will also be completed when needed by structural and optical characterizations, available at IPVF, to better understand the mechanisms of aging and instability, ultimately making it possible to remove current technological barriers 3.

The Post-doc will therefore be involved in the XPS analysis of various materials and layers used for PV applications in collaboration within different IPVF research programs. 


[1] P. Schulz et al, Chem. Rev. (2019), 119, 5, 3349-3417

[2] D. Mercier et al, “Applied Surface Science, (2015), 347, 799-807

[3] S. Cacovich, D. Messou, et al, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 2020, 12 (31), 34784–34794.


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

ILV Partner website: http://www.ilv.uvsq.fr/plateformes-techniques/cefs2-xps-nano-auger-sem-eds-ebsd–403824.kjsp?RH=1542806924587



Main missions

The candidate will directly report to the Deputy Programs Director of IPVF.

She/he will integrate a dynamic and talented team driven by innovation and results.


Within IPVF, the Post-doc will have a key role in the whole steps of the manufacturing of produced PV cells. She/He will have in charge the chemical characterization of materials and modules at different fabrication steps, and therefore contribute in the optimization process. Ageing studies of complete cells will also be carried out by XPS and GD-OES analysis in order to improve the stability of the cells. He / She will interact scientifically with various IPVF researchers, have also formation actions and internship management.

The Post-doc will have to develop a reliable chemical characterization methodology taking advantage of the GD-OES (Glow Discharge Optical Emission Spectroscopy) fast in-depth profiling, but inherently qualitative, to reach specific location in-depth, and of the accurate chemical information (composition and chemical environments)  that XPS (X-Ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy) can bring.  He / She will reinforce the research team and work in strong collaboration with the Post-doc already hired in this project, on separate tasks and common ones. Its mission will have two main approaches: 1) Achievement the specific research work on GD-OES/XPS coupling; 2) Support and expertise for IPVF other projects.

XPS and GD-OES equipment’s are hosted at Institut Lavoisier de Versailles (ILV). The post-doc will be hence mainly localized at ILV, Versailles with regular trips to IPVF, Palaiseau.



Expected profile


  • PhD in Materials Science.
  • Surface chemical analysis.
  • Experience in PV or semiconductor technologies.
  • Knowledge in perovskite-based solar cells is higly preferable.



  • Hands-on experience in XPS and/or GD-OES, and SEM/EDS characterization techniques.
  • XPS advanced knowledge is a plus.
  • Project management skills.


Self-management skills

  • Autonomy.
  • Force of proposale.
  • Teamwork.
  • Enjoy collaborations.
  • Writting, reporting, communication.




Cover letter and CV to be sent to:

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