The Photovoltaics-Laboratory (PV-Lab) of IMT was founded by in 1984 by Prof. Arvind Shah, with Prof. Christophe Ballif taking over in 2004. The lab has pioneered several new processes for the preparation of thin-film silicon, such as the introduction of very high frequency (VHF) plasma deposition. It has, among other major results, demonstrated that microcristalline silicon can be used effectively as the active layer for the bottom cell in tandem and multi-junction solar cells. The current activities of the laboratory cover a broad spectrum, ranging from fundamental research to industrial technology transfer. The laboratory employs currently over 40 people. Example of highlights include the realisation of top-notch efficiency thin film Silicon solar cells on glass and plastic foils, as well breaking the 22% efficiency barrier for 2x2cm2 c-Si heterojunction solar cell.
In 2012 The PV-lab supported the creation of new center for indsutrialisation of technology in parternship with the CSEM, which led to the creation of the PV-center also managed by the director of the PV-lab. The CSEM PV-center is active since 2013.