Low-Cost Inorganic Solar Cells: From Ink to Printed Device

Susan E. Habas, Heather A.S. Platt, Maikel F.A.M. Van Hest, David S. Ginley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

416 Scopus Citations


The potential of solution processing to lower the cost of conventional Si-solar cell technologies and contribute to the large-scale deployment of thin-film devices is reviewed. The solvent and additives and conditions such as temperature and pH should be chosen to promote full ink solubility and an ink formulation should be as simple as possible without sacrificing solution stability and final material performance. Flexographic printing is a slightly higher resolution method that relies on a raised image on a printing plate cylinder to transfer the pattern to a surface. Metallic alloy films, including those containing Cu and In, are prepared by annealing a spin-coated film of metal salts in a reducing atmosphere. The development of soluble precursors for thin-film absorber layers, dielectric materials, transparent conductors, and metal contacts, in combination with solution deposition and processing techniques, can be leveraged to prepare fully printed photovoltaic devices.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)6571-6594
Number of pages24
JournalChemical Reviews
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2010

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5200-50238


  • devices
  • materials
  • photovoltaics


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