PV Manufacturing R&D -- Integrated CIS Thin-Film Manufacturing Infrastructure: Phase I Technical Report, 2 August 2002--31 October 2003

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


This subcontract report describes Shell Solar Industries (SSI), formerly Siemens Solar Industries, pursuing research and development of CuInSe2-based thin-film PV technology since 1980. In the 1980s, SSI demonstrated a 14.1%-efficient 3.4-cm2 active-area cell; unencapsulated integrated modules with aperture efficiencies of 11.2% on 940 cm2 and 9.1% on 3900 cm2; and an encapsulated module with 8.7% efficiency on 3883 cm2 (verified by NREL). Since these early achievements, SSI has made outstanding progress in the initial commercialization of high-performance thin-film CIS technology. Line yield has been increased from about 60% in 2000 to about 85% in 2002. This major accomplishment supports attractive cost projections for CIS. Recently, NREL confirmed a champion 12.8% aperture-areaconversion efficiency for a large-area (3626 cm2) CIS module. Other than definition of the aperture area, this module is simply one module from the upper end of the production distribution for standard modules. Prerequisites for commitment to large-scale commercialization have been demonstrated at successive levels of CIS production. Remaining R&D challenges are to scale the processes to evenlarger areas, to reach higher production capacity, to demonstrate in-service durability over longer times, and to advance the fundamental understanding of CIS-based materials and devices with the goal of improvements for future products. SSI's thin-film CIS technology is poised to make very significant contributions to DOE/NREL/NCPV long-term goals of higher volume, lower-cost commercialproducts. The objective of this subcontract is to continue advancement of SSI's copper indium diselenide (CIS) technology through development and implementation of: high-throughput CIS absorber formation reactors; an XRF measurement system; a bar-code scribing system; a high-capacity ZnO monitoring system; a high-capacity continuous-light-source simulator; and integrated manufacturinginfrastructure including Statistical Process Control (SPC), Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), and intelligent processing functions.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages39
StatePublished - 2004

Bibliographical note

Work performed by Shell Solar Industries, Camarillo, California

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-520-36247


  • bar code scribing
  • cadmium telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic solar cells modules
  • copper indium diselenide (CIS)
  • manufacturing execution system (MES)
  • module
  • monolithic integration
  • PV
  • solar cells
  • thin films
  • wafer-based crystalline


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