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Solar energy

Swiss physicist wins Becquerel Prize

Swiss physicist and professor Christophe Ballif has been awarded the Becquerel Prize, one of the world’s most prestigious photovoltaics awards, in recognition of his 20 years of service to solar energy research.

Ballif’s work specialises in high-efficiency solar cells that are structured like crystals, as well as the transfer of solar energy and photovoltaic technologies to industry. He also does research on materials science, solar cell manufacturing and production. 

He directs both the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) Photovoltaics Laboratory, and the photovoltaics (PV) laboratory of the Swiss Center for Electronic and Microtechnology (CSEM), both based in Neuchatel. Ballif is the author of some 400 scientific articles, and he also holds a number of patents.

Ballif isn’t the first EPFL researcher to win the Becquerel Prize: Arvind Shah, founder of the PV laboratory, was awarded it in 2007.

The Becquerel Prize, named after French physicist Alexandre Edmond Becquerel, is awarded periodically by the European Commission, to honour an individual’s contributions to research in photovoltaics and solar energy. The prize was launched in 1989 on the 150th anniversary of Becquerel’s discovery of the photovoltaic effect.

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