"CIGS has some potential advantages over silicon," Korgel said. "It's a direct band gap semiconductor, which means that you need much less material to make a solar cell, and that's one of the biggest potential advantages."
His team has developed solar-cell prototypes with efficiencies at one percent; however, they need to be about 10 percent.
"If we get to 10 percent, then there's real potential for commercialization," Korgel said. "If it works, I think you could see it being used in three to five years."
He also said that the inks, which are semi-transparent, could help realize the prospect of having windows that double as solar cells. Korgel said his work has attracted the interest of industrial partners.
|Contact: Brian Korgel|
University of Texas at Austin