Beside the toxicity of Cd, the main drawback of CdS is its relatively narrow band gap (2.4 eV), which can lead to the current loss due to parasitic absorption. Corrections? Zinc oxide can be doped with certain elements to enhance the intrinsic n-type conductivity of the semiconductor, or with divalent elements such as Mg, which increase or decrease the band gap due to differences in the crystalline structures such as zincite- or periclase-type structures, or nanorods. It is a tetrahedrally bonded semiconductor, with the chalcopyrite crystal structure. The structure of the solar cell is (Ni/Al)/MgF 2 /ZnO:B/i-ZnO/CdS/OVC/CIGS/Mo/substrate (Figure 1). Updates? A CIGS solar cell consists of several layers of materials, with Cu(In. NREL has the ability to deposit all layers of CIGS thin-film solar cells, from 1.5-by-1.5-in. BRUSSELS (Belgium), SEPTEMBER 24, 2018 — Today at the EU PVSEC conference, imec, the world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics, energy and digital technologies, presents a thin-film tandem solar cell consisting of a top perovskite cell developed by imec within the partnerships of EnergyVille and Solliance, and a bottom CIGS cell from the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen … CdS is often used as a buffer layer in CIGS cells. A subsequent printing process deposits additional layers and the front contact on top of that layer; the foil is then cut into sheets. Light enters the device through an optical coating, or antireflection layer, that minimizes the loss of light by reflection; it effectively traps the light falling on the solar cell by promoting its transmission to the energy-conversion layers below. In the world of semiconductors, “band gap” is the difference in energy between the valence band and the conduction band of a solid material. This cell provides a high absorption coefficient, high temperature stability, and is low-cost compared to other collection materials. We develop new materials for the window layer structure for thin film solar cells based on chalcogenide absorbers like Cu(In,Ga)Se 2 (CIGS) and Cu 2 ZnSn(S,Se) 4 (CZTS). For example, flexible CIGS solar cells give architects a greater range of possibilities in styling and design. It is manufactured by depositing a thin layer of copper, indium, gallium and selenium on glass or plastic backing, … This cell provides a high absorption coefficient, high temperature stability, and is low-cost compared to other collection materials. Although there are several techniques for depositing this buffer material, studies have shown that spray pyrolysis is a relatively safe and effective method of layering Zn1-XMgX films. The DSSC/CIGS tandem solar cell was fabricated via a simple solution-based process by preparing the CIGS absorber film for the bottom cell using CIGS nanoparticle ink. CIGS-based thin-film solar cell modules currently represent the highest-efficiency alternative for large-scale, commercial thin-film solar cells. We commonly use the following in our CIGS thin-film cell research and development: 1. However, this material is highly toxic, especially if inhaled, and cadmium compounds are classified as carcinogenic. 1, which consists of a p–n heterojunction formed by an n-type CdS buffer layer (30 nm) on a p-type CIGS absorber layer (3 µm) with donor and acceptor densities of 3 × 1017 cm−3and 8 × 1016 cm−3respectively. Courtesy Shou-Yi Kuo, Chang Gung Univ., via Creative Commons. Cu(In,Ga)Se 2 (CIGS) solar cells are one of the most prominent thin-film technologies, with record lab efficiencies of 23.4% achieved in 20191 by Solar Frontier2 3.The CIGS material has a direct bandgap and high absorption coefficient. In a CIGS thin film solar cell, the buffer layer is interposed between the absorber layer and the window layer, which plays an important role in interface electricity. Deposition can be done without a vacuum, using nanoparticles or electroplating, though those techniques require more development to be economically efficient at a large-scale. Structure optimization for a high efficiency CIGS solar cell Abstract: This paper uses numerical simulation to study the effects of Ga concentration profile on the performance of CuIn 1-x Ga x Se 2 (CIGS) solar cell, including the effects of acceptor type Cu antisite defects whose concentration depends on Ga composition. A CIGS solar cell consists of several layers of materials, with Cu(In1Ga)Se2 as the energy absorber layer sandwiched between a substrate, electrical contacts, and a buffer layer. The simulated cell structure is shown in Fig. Source: pv-magazine. Scientists at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands have developed an interdigitated back contact (IBC), copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS) solar cell with a sub-micron thickness of 673nm. As the performance, uniformity, and reliability of CIGS products improve, the technology has the potential to expand its market share significantly and may eventually become a “disruptive” technology. Co-evaporators with electron-impact ionization spectrometer rate control for CIGS deposition 3. The structure of polycrystalline thin-film cells contains many tiny crystalline grains of semiconductor materials. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Modeling of CIGS single–junction solar cell using multiple quantum well structure with enhanced efficiency December 2020 Optical and Quantum Electronics 52(12) This method is easy to upscale, making it suitable for large area depositions. A CIGS solar cell consists of several layers of materials, with Cu (In1Ga)Se2 as the energy absorber layer sandwiched between a substrate, electrical contacts, and a buffer layer. The key parts of the cell are the CIGS absorber and the CdS buffer layer. In spray pyrolysis, a precursor solution containing volatile metal salts forms a mist of droplets that are directed onto a heated substrate. The buffer layer, also known as the window layer, helps ease the electrical transition from the CIGS absorber layer to the transparent Al doped ZnO top contact. If a nonconductive material is chosen for the substrate, a metal such as molybdenum is used as a conductor. The CIGS-based solar cells are easy to fabricate compared to c-Si based solar cells by growing it on various rigid and flexible substrates by vacuum and non-vacuum techniques; thus, CIGS-based solar cells are promising candidates for the next-generation power-efficient solar cells (Adel et al., 2016, Badgujar et al., 2015, Chen et al., 2017a, Chen et al., 2014, Choi and Lee, 2007, Delahoy et al., … In addition to crystalline silicon, three alternative absorber materials are used for manufacturing solar cells: amorphous silicon (a-Si) or a combination of amorphous and microcrystalline silicon (a-Si/μc- Si), the compound semiconductor cadmium telluride (CdTe) or a compound semiconductor made of copper, indium, gallium and selenium (Cu(In,Ga)Se 2, CIS or CIGS for short). A “depletion region” is formed at the heterojunction of the p- and n-type materials of the cadmium-doped surface of the CIGS cell. CIGS is made through deposition a thin layer of copper, indium, gallium, and selenium on glass or plastic, and with electrodes on the front and back to collect electricity. The cells are designed so that light enters through the transparent front ohmic contact and is absorbed into the CIGS layer. These studies will enable CIGS film and other solar collection device developers to find safer, cheaper and more efficient materials for emerging green technologies. CIGS solar cells have traditionally used cadmium sulfide (CdS) as the buffer layer. One company, Nanosolar, based in San Jose, Calif., has developed a way to make the CIGS material as an ink containing nanoparticles. It is best known as the material for CIGS solar cells a thin-film technology used in the photovoltaic industry. However, commercial CIGS cells have lower efficiencies, with most modules attaining about 14 percent conversion. The results shown in the current work can aid in paving the way for future tandem solar cell devices based on the CIS/CIGS/CdS structure. CIGS solar cells are also a fraction of the weight of silicon cells and can be manufactured without glass to be shatter-resistant. Efficient sunlight absorption can be achieved in CIGS layers as thin as 1 µm, 100 times thinner than a crystalline silicon solar cell4, as evidenced in Figure 1. The proposed rear surface passivated solar cell structure is the following: SLG/Si(O,N)/Mo/ HfO x /KF/CIGS/NaF/CdS/i-ZnO/ZnO:Al/Ni-Ag-Ni Grids, as shown in Figure 1a. Precursor or post-deposition treatments of … Additionally, given the hazards of cadmium extraction and use, CIGS solar cells offer fewer health and environmental concerns than the cadmium telluride solar cells with which they compete. The newest generation of thin-film solar cells uses thin layers of either cadmium telluride (CdTe) or copper indium gallium deselenide (CIGS) instead. In addition, the scientists stated, “In the case of flexible CIGS solar cells, the metallic grid causes an additional optical shading, reducing even more the optical performance.” The IBC cell designed by the Delft team was compared with an 11.9%-efficient FBC device supplied by Dutch institute Solliance Solar Research , with the Delft team focusing particularly on absorber performance. sample sizes. Novel approaches are being developed that are more similar to printing technologies than traditional silicon solar-cell fabrication. The layer between the CdS and CIGS absorber is a thin layer named ordered vacancy compound (OVC). Applications. Upon heating it transforms to the zincblende form and the transition temperature decreases from 1045 °C for x=0 to 805 °C for x=1. Your email address will not be published. This paper uses numerical simulation to study the effects of Ga concentration profile on the performance of CuIn 1-x Ga x Se 2 (CIGS) solar cell, including the effects of acceptor type Cu antisite defects whose concentration depends on Ga composition. These defects are the dominant deep traps in the CIGS … CIGS Cell using CdS Buffer. Solar cells were characterized with current-voltage (J-V) and external quantum efficiency (EQE) measure- ments. It shows how X-ray diffraction using a grazing-incidence sampling accessory (GIXRD) for thin film characterizations, and the complementary EDXRF technique, are capable of characterizing layers within a CIGS solar cell stack. In one process, a printer lays droplets of semiconducting ink onto an aluminum foil. Although CIGS solar cells are considered to be in the early stages of large-scale commercialization, they can be produced by using a process that has the potential to reduce the cost of producing photovoltaic devices. The differ - ent layers in the SEM image have been colored for clarity. All Rights Reserved. Jun 15, 2020. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. We show how EDXRF will determine layer thicknesses in the CIGS stack and how GIXRD measures Zn1-XMgX layers with varying Mg concentrations in order to characterize the crystalline growth of the material as the quantity of Mg varies. The MIS, on the other hand, has the following structure: SLG/Mo (300nm)/CIGS (1.6mm)/ /HfO x(30nm)/Ag grids. One way to do this is by cleaving the sample. CIGS solar cells feature a thin film of copper indium selenide and copper gallium selenide and a trace amount of sodium. From the dark J-V curves, the saturated current density (J Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership, https://www.britannica.com/technology/CIGS-solar-cell, Energy.gov - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy - Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide. We can fabricate novel materials and device structures and also perform advanced characterization and device modeling. There electron-hole pairs are formed. That CIGS film acts as a direct bandgap semiconductor and forms a heterojunction, as the bandgaps of the two different materials are unequal. Omissions? CIGS solar cells, cross sections need to be prepared. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. In a recent technical poster presentation, our scientists demonstrated how layers of Zn1-XMgX can be applied as a potential substitute for CdS in CIGS solar cells. The front surface contact must be able to conduct electricity and be transparent to allow light to reach the cell. Sputtering systems for Mo back contacts 2. CIGS solar cells feature a thin film of copper indium selenide and copper gallium selenide and a trace amount of sodium. The advanced cell design also combines a rear surface passivation layer and—as thin film solar cells have short minority carrier diffusion lengths—a technologically feasible approach to generate nano-sized local point contacts. We have therefrom demonstrated a DSSC/CIGS tandem solar cell that shows a higher solar cell performance (PCE of 13.0%) than the corresponding single-junction devices of DSSC (~7.25%) or CIGS (~6.2%). The world-record NREL CIGS device is based on this substrate structure and demonstrates a conversion efficiency of 20.0%. Oxide-based wide-band gap materials are attractive for an extensive range of applications, such as solar collector cells, functional coatings, (opto)electronic devices, or sensors. Previously 6, 7, it has been shown that a similar rear contacting structure can be used to passivate the rear CIGS interface of CIGS solar cells. The buffer is made of a material that provides a band gap layer between the absorber and the electrical transmitter. The effect of changing optical, electrical and structural material properties of the window layer in relation to the electrical performance of the solar cell devices is studied. CIGS solar cell, in full copper indium gallium selenide solar cell, thin-film photovoltaic device that uses semiconductor layers of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) to absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). Your email address will not be published. In this case the CIGS cell was deposited on a glass substrate. That CIGS film acts as a direct bandgap semiconductor and forms a heterojunction, as the bandgaps of the two different materials are unequal. The substrate may be made of glass or made of a polymer material that provides flexibility. CIGS thin-film solar cells have reached 21.7 percent efficiency in laboratory settings and 18.7 percent efficiency in the field, making CIGS a leader among alternative cell materials and a promising semiconducting material in thin-film technologies. They can be integrated into vehicles such as tractor trailers, airplanes, and cars, as their low profile minimizes air resistance and they do not add significant weight. Great gains in efficiency could be attained if ... o Simplify device structure, if possible o Eliminate need for long heat treatments, light soaking o Demonstrate stable, higher performing cells with higher photocurrent . The results from the MgF 2 layer investigation lead to achieving a high cell performance with an optimum ARC layer thickness of 120 nm under the AM1.5G spectrum, 300 K, and reconfirms the suitability of MgF 2 as a good ARC material for such devices. In 2014, laboratory experiments produced a record efficiency of 23.2 percent by a CIGS cell with a modified surface structure. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Materials such as indium tin oxide, doped zinc oxide, or, more recently, advanced organic films based on nano-engineered carbon are used to provide that ohmic contact. A simplified Cu(In, Ga)Se2 (CIGS) solar cell structure based on a 500 nm thin CIGS layer is presented. Cadmium Indium (Gallium) Selenide CIGS. CIGS is a tetrahedrally bonded semiconductor, with the chalcopyrite crystal structure. Owing to this problem, solar cell developers are exploring alternative materials. CdS is used optionally and some CIGS cells contain no cadmium at all. Spray pyrolysis is a versatile solution-based growth technique that yields high-quality ZnO films. The substrate may be made of glass or made of a polymer material that provides flexibility. to 6-by-6in. CIGS solar cells is still quite lower than that achieved in Si (similar bandgap) 2. A schematic of the layer structure of a typical CIGS cell is Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. CIGS Cell using CdS Buffer. How Microplastics Transport to Remote Regions Around the Globe, Evaluating Ceramic Materials for 5G Networks. Starting from the results regarding a nonvacuum technique to fabricate CIGS thin films for solar cells by means of single-step electrodeposition, we focus on the methodological problems of modeling at cell structure and photovoltaic module levels. The efficiency of CdTe solar cells has been a little more than 15 percent, and CIGS solar cells have 20 percent efficiency. That separates the electrons from the holes and allows them to generate an electrical current (see also solar cell). 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