Development of Electrodeposited CIGS Solar Cells: Cooperative Research and Development Final Report, CRADA Number CRD-09-357

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


At present, most PV materials are fabricated by vacuum technologies. Some of the many disadvantages of vacuum technology are complicated instrumentation, material waste, high cost of deposition per surface area, and instability of some compounds at the deposition temperature. Solution-based approaches for thin-film deposition on large areas are particularly desirable because of the low capital cost of the deposition equipment, relative simplicity of the processes, ease of doping, uniform deposition on a variety of substrates (including interior and exterior of tubes and various nonplanar devices), and potential compatibility with high-throughput (e.g., roll-to-roll) processing. Of the nonsilicon solar photovoltaic device modules that have been deployed to date, those based on the n-CdS/p-CdTe is a leading candidate. Two features in the optical characteristics of CdTe absorber are particularly attractive for photovoltaic conversion of sunlight; (a) its energy bandgap of 1.5 eV, which provides an optimal match with the solar spectrum and thus facilitates its efficient utilization and (b) the direct mode of the main optical transition which results in a large absorption coefficient and turn permits the use of thin layer (1-2 um) of active material. Thin films of CdTe required for these devices have been fabricated by a variety of methods (e.g., vapor transport deposition, vacuum deposition, screen printing and close-spaced sublimation). Electrodeposition is another candidate deserves more attention. This project will focus on delivering low-cost, high efficiency electrodeposited CdTe-based device.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2016

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-5900-67167


  • electrodeposited CdTe
  • vacuum technology


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