Thin Film Solar Cells with Highly Efficient Energy Conversion

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Cross-sectional view showing the various layers comprising a CIGS-based thin film solar cell according to the present invention
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Researchers
Neelkanth Dhere, Ph.D.
Ankur Kadam
Managed By
Raju Nagaiah
Licensing Associate 407.882.0593
Patent Protection

Thin film solar cells by selenization sulfurization using diethyl selenium as a selenium precursor

US Patent 7,632,701 B2

Method of producing a highly efficient semiconductor to coat Copper Indium Gallium Selenium (CIGS) thin film solar cells, allowing for a much higher energy to cost efficiency ratio

Photovoltaic (PV) solar cells made out of Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) absorber layer are one of the low-cost, high efficiency, thin-film solar panels in the world. They are made up of a composite semiconductor material composed of CIGS, the material is a solid solution that is broken down and applied to thin-film solar cells.

Technical Details

UCF researchers identified new material and derived a novel and safe method of forming a CIGS absorber layer to increase the efficiency of thin film solar cells. The method includes the new process of using the metal organic compound diethyl-selenium, a novel selenium precursor which has lower toxicity and requires comparatively less stringent safety requirement compared to H2Se. While crystalline silicon account for 85 % of solar PV market today, CIGS is becoming an increasingly more cost effective and efficient solution. It is estimated that within the past three years, investment in CIGS thin film PV development has been measured in billions of dollars. This novel process and use of safe materials has the highest potential to be an alternative to crystalline silicon PV cells.

Benefits

  • Materials used are safe to handle and manufacture
  • Lower cost
  • High throughput
  • Flexible: can be configured and customized into a wide variety of applications
  • Easily scalable to any size solar cell

Applications

  • Solar cells
  • Utilities
  • Automotive
  • Consumer electronics