Although amorphous silicon is the leading thin-film photovoltaic (PV) material research is underway with other promising materials. Materials like Copper Indium Diselenide (CuInSe2 or CIS).
A Closer Look
The current world record thin-film solar cell efficiency of 17.7% is held by a device based on copper indium diselenide.
Researchers are studying routes for developing processes suitable for manufacturing to facilitate the deployment of copper indium diselenide technology. This work focuses on processes that are capable of being inexpensive while maintaining high performance. Four primary processes are being studied and the most promising will be chosen for further development. This research concentrates on the following four areas:
• Process development. Various deposition methods suitable for commercialising the CIS technology, including sublimation/evaporation, sputtering, electrodeposition, and spraying are being examined.
• In-situ junction formation. How to integrate the formation of the junction into the absorber fabrication process is being studied and has already demonstrated the feasibility of this concept with a nearly 10% efficient device that does not use cadmium sulfide.
• Substrate/back contact. The impact of the glass substrate and molybdenum contact on CIS-based solar cells as well as alternatives to glass/Mo designs are being studied.
• Capabilities Development. A more reliable Mo deposition system and a direct-current reactive ZnO process amenable to scale-up and fast deposition rates are being developed. These are essential to advancing CIS technology from the fundamental stage to pre-commercialisation.