New opportunities for CIGS solar cells

PVcomB conducts research and technological improvement on CIGS solar cells, in close cooperation with industrial partners. © A. Kubatzki/HZB

More than 90 participants from industry and academia from Europe, Asia and USA exchanged latest results in the field of CIGS solar cells, during the “IW-CIGSTech 6” organised by PVcomB. © A. Kubatzki/HZB

Dynamic CIGS solar cell technology workshop gives rise to optimism: experts predict higher efficiencies and lean production technologies

More than 90 participants from industry and academia from Europe, Asia and USA exchanged latest results in the field of CIGS solar cells, during the “IW-CIGSTech 6” organised by PVcomB at HZB in Berlin-Adlershof from 29. to 30. April.  They reported new, exciting results, ranging from record module efficiencies and significant module manufacturing simplification to solid scientific understanding of the underlying atomic-scale physics and chemistry.

CIGS-thin film solar cells are based on compound semiconductors consisting of the elements Copper, Indium, Gallium and Selenium and Sulphur. They are the most efficient thin-film solar cell technology to date. PVcomB conducts research and technological improvement on CIGS solar cells, in close cooperation with industrial partners. “We have seen very remarkable improvements in CIGS technology over the past year and many exciting new industrial and academic results were presented at the workshop”, says Rutger Schlatmann, head of the institute PVcomB at the HZB, explicitly mentioning following examples:

•    A strong increase in world record cell efficiency to almost 22%, and a clear, scientifically based outlook towards 25% cells in the coming years.
•    World record module efficiencies well above 16%.
•    Restart of CIGS production capacity in Germany and upcoming remarkable expansion of production capacity worldwide.
•    Production process simplifications (e.g. reduction of number of process steps).
•    Very promising results in the field of wet processing, e.g. electrochemical deposition.
•    Improved process control achieving a remarkable 98% process yield.
•    Product development for very specific applications (large solar power plants with very low cost electrical power, aesthetic appearance and flexibility in design for BIPV).
“Summarizing the impressions of the workshop, there is a powerful community of CIGS technologists and academics. Many of them report rapid progress in development and there is an optimistic view on the successful growth of CIGS photovoltaics” Schlatmann concludes.

red/arö