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Non-vacuum methods for formation of Cu(In, Ga)(Se, S)2 thin film photovoltaic absorbers

Authors

  • C. J. Hibberd,

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology, Holywell Park GX Area, Department for Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK
    • Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology, Holywell Park GX Area, Department for Electronic and Electrical Engineering, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, LE11 3TU, UK.
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  • E. Chassaing,

    1. Institute of R&D on Photovoltaic Energy (EDF/CNRS/ENSCP-UMR 7174), 6 Quai Watier, 78401 Chatou cedex, France
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  • W. Liu,

    1. IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, P. O. Box 218, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598, USA
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  • D. B. Mitzi,

    1. IBM T. J. Watson Research Center, P. O. Box 218, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598, USA
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  • D. Lincot,

    1. Institute of R&D on Photovoltaic Energy (EDF/CNRS/ENSCP-UMR 7174), 6 Quai Watier, 78401 Chatou cedex, France
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  • A. N. Tiwari

    1. Laboratory for Thin Films and Photovoltaics (Abt. 130), EMPA (Swiss Federal Laboratories for Material Testing and Research), Überlandstrasse 129, CH-8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland
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Abstract

Polycrystalline thin films of copper indium diselenide and its alloys with gallium and sulphur (CIGS) have proven to be suitable for use as absorbers in high-efficiency solar cells. Record efficiency devices of 20% power conversion efficiency have been produced by co-evaporation of the elements under high vacuum. However, non-vacuum methods for absorber deposition promise significantly lower capital expenditure and reduced materials costs, and have been used to produce devices with efficiencies of up to 14%. Such efficiencies are already high enough for commercial up-scaling to be considered and several companies are now trying to develop products based on non-vacuum deposited CIGS absorbers. This article will review the wide range of non-vacuum techniques that have been used to deposit CIGS thin films, highlighting the state of the art and efforts towards commercialization. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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