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How to produce flexible CIGS solar cells with record efficiency
Date:9/21/2011

eveloped novel processes for optimizing the solar cell performance. To achieve an appropriate composition profile in the CIGS layer for enabling more efficient charge carrier collection and reduced interface recombination Chirilă and colleagues developed an innovative growth process by carefully controlling the Ga and indium (In) evaporation flux during different stages of the evaporation process.

High-efficiency solar cells grown on cheap metal-foils

Such high-efficiency CIGS solar cells up to now were developed only on glass substrates with processes where CIGS layers are grown at temperatures of 600 C or above. In contrast, polymer foils cannot withstand such high temperatures. The low-temperature process now developed by Tiwari and Co. not only yielded an 18.7%-efficiency cell on polymer foils but also another record efficiency of 17.7% on steel foil without any diffusion oxide or nitride barrier layer commonly used in high-temperature processes. Both efficiencies were independently certified by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) in Freiburg, Germany. "We have thus shown that this low-temperature process is also applicable on low-cost metal foils such as aluminum or Mild-steel, achieving comparably high-efficiency cells and indicating a severe cost reduction potential with this technology", said Tiwari.

Scientists at FLISOM, a start-up company, and Empa have been collaborating to further develop low-temperature processing, and FLISOM is scaling up the technology for roll-to-roll manufacturing of monolithically interconnected solar modules and commercializing the technology. The research has been supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI), the Swiss Federal Office of Energy (SFOE), EU Framework Programmes as well as by Swiss companies W. Blsch AG and FLISOM.


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Contact: Dr. Ayodhya N. Tiwari
ayodhya.tiwari@empa.ch
41-587-654-130
Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA)
Source:Eurekalert  

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