CIGSS Thin Film Solar Cells: Final Subcontract Report, 10 October 2001-30 June 2005

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


This report describes the I-III-VI2 compounds that are developing into a promising material to meet the energy requirement of the world. CuInSe2 (CIS) and its alloy with Ga and S have shown long-term stability and highest conversion efficiency of 19.5%. Among the various ways of preparing CuIn1-xGaxSe2-ySy (CIGSS)/CdS thin-film solar cells, co-evaporation and sputtering techniques are the mostpromising. Sputtering is an established process for very high-throughput manufacturing. ARCO Solar, now Shell Solar, pioneered the work in CIS using the sputtering technique. The two-stage process developed by ARCO Solar involved sputtering of a copper and indium layer on molybdenum-coated glass as the first step. In the second step, the copper-indium layers were exposed to a selenium-bearinggas such as hydrogen selenide (H2Se) mixed with argon. The hydrogen selenide breaks down and leaves selenium, which reacts and mixes with the copper and indium in such a way to produce very high-quality CIS absorber layer. Sputtering technology has the added advantage of being easily scaled up and promotes roll-to-roll production on flexible substrates. Preliminary experiments were carried out.ZnO/ZnO:Al deposition by RF magnetron sputtering and CdS deposition by chemical-bath deposition are being carried out on a routine basis.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages22
StatePublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), Cocoa, Florida

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-520-39486


  • chemical bath deposition (CBD)
  • co-evaporation
  • CuInSe2 (CIS)
  • PV
  • solar cells
  • sputtering
  • thin films


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