New Technology to Boost Energy Conversion Efficiency of CIGS Solar Cell
The National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and Teijin Ltd., a leading Japanese manufacturer of polymer chemicals, have jointly developed a technology to dramatically enhance the energy conversion efficiency of a flexible photovoltaic (PV) cell using the non-silicon copper/indium/gallium/selenium compound (CIGS) thin film, it was announced on July 16, 2008. Using this technology, they succeeded in fabricating high-performance PV cells with flexible substrates made of a variety of materials, such as ceramics, metal foils or polymers.
PV cells that use CIGS as a semi-conducting material offer several superior features over polycrystalline silicon PV cells. Sales of solar panel modules using CIGS PV cells were started by domestic manufacturers in 2007 (see related JFS news article below).
In order to realize high-performance CIGS PV cells, technical issues related to adding alkali metals to a CIGS light-absorbing layer need to be solved. AIST succeeded in developing a technology to form an alkali-silicate glass thin layer (ASTL), which is a stable alkali compound on a substrate, and this makes it possible to control the amount of alkali taken into the CIGS light-absorbing layer (this is known as the ASTL method).
CIGS PV cells produced using the ASTL method achieved an intrinsic conversion efficiency of 17.7 percent, the highest among small-area cells. AIST intends to apply this method to cells with more practical dimensions and will continue to work on solving technical issues, such as integration processes for scale-up, and improving the yield rate.
- Flexible CIGS Photovoltaic Cell with Energy Conversion Efficiency of 17.7%
- Honda Enters Solar Cell Market (Related JFS article)
- Honda Releases Thin-film Solar Cells (Related JFS article)
- Showa Shell to Quadruple Photovoltaic Module Production (Related JFS article)
Posted: 2008/12/12 06:45:58 AM