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Review
, 41 Suppl 2 (Suppl 2), 112-8

Thin Film Solar Cells: Research in an Industrial Perspective

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Review

Thin Film Solar Cells: Research in an Industrial Perspective

Marika Edoff. Ambio.

Abstract

Electricity generation by photovoltaic conversion of sunlight is a technology in strong growth. The thin film technology is taking market share from the dominant silicon wafer technology. In this article, the market for photovoltaics is reviewed, the concept of photovoltaic solar energy conversion is discussed and more details are given about the present technological limitations of thin film solar cell technology. Special emphasis is given for solar cells which employ Cu(In,Ga)Se(2) and Cu(2)ZnSn(S,Se)(4) as the sunlight-absorbing layer.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Outline of a thin film solar cell based on Cu(In,Ga)Se2. The different layers are indicated from top to bottom in the figure as window layers, absorber layer and back contact. The back contact consists of molybdenum metal, the absorber of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 and the window layer of two buffer layers and a transparent conducting oxide layer. SEM image: Marika Edoff
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
A cross-section transmission electron microscopy image showing a CZTSe film. The large grains consist of CZTSe, whereas the small grains found to the right in the upper part of the CZTSe film (in the rectangle) are ZnSe precipitates. TEM image: Timo Wätjen
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Total area efficiency (blue bars) and module power (red squares), as measured under standard test conditions for a number of commercial CIGS-based photovoltaic modules on the market. Data taken from IEA-PVPS, from the company webpages and product data sheets

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