High-Efficiency CdTe and CIGS Thin-Film Solar Cells: Highlights and Challenges; Preprint

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    Thin-film photovoltaic (PV) modules of CdTe and Cu(In,Ga)Se2 (CIGS) have the potential to reach cost-effective PV-generated electricity. These technologies have transitioned from the laboratory to the market place. Pilot production and first-time manufacturing are ramping up to higher capacity and enjoying a flood of venture-capital funding. CIGS solar cells and modules have achieved 19.5% and13% efficiencies, respectively. Likewise, CdTe cells and modules have reached 16.5% and 10.2% efficiencies, respectively. Even higher efficiencies from the laboratory and from the manufacturing line are only a matter of time. Manufacturing-line yield continues to improve and is surpassing 85%. Long-term stability has been demonstrated for both technologies; however, some failures in the fieldhave also been observed, emphasizing the critical need for understanding degradation mechanisms and packaging options. The long-term potential of the two technologies require R&D emphasis on science and engineering-based challenges to find solutions to achieve targeted cost-effective module performance, and in-field durability. Some of the challenges are common to both, e.g., in-situ processcontrol and diagnostics, thinner absorber, understanding degradation mechanisms, protection from water vapor, and innovation in high-speed processing and module design. Other topics are specific to the technology, such as lower-cost and fast-deposition processes for CIGS, and improved back contact and voltage for CdTe devices.
    Original languageAmerican English
    Number of pages6
    StatePublished - 2006
    Event2006 IEEE 4th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WCPEC-4) - Waikoloa, Hawaii
    Duration: 7 May 200612 May 2006


    Conference2006 IEEE 4th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion (WCPEC-4)
    CityWaikoloa, Hawaii

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/CP-520-39894


    • back contacts
    • base electrode
    • high efficiency
    • manufacturer
    • module
    • monolithic integration
    • PV
    • solar cells
    • thin films


    Dive into the research topics of 'High-Efficiency CdTe and CIGS Thin-Film Solar Cells: Highlights and Challenges; Preprint'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this