August 25, 2008

Copper-based solar cells made easier

Mix copper, indium, gallium and selenium in a solution of the industrial chemical and rocket fuel hydrazine and you have an inexpensive way to make thin-film solar cells that, in the laboratory, post power conversion efficiencies of 10 percent.

Copper indium gallium selenium (CIGS) thin-film solar cells can be made on flexible surfaces and have the potential to be less expensive than traditional silicon solar cells. Though CIGS solar cells with efficiencies approaching 20 percent have been made, the hydrazine solution processing method is much simpler than previous methods and could significantly lower manufacturing costs.

The hydrazine process was first developed to make flexible electronic devices, including transistors and light-emitting diodes.

Research paper:
A High-Efficiency Solution-Deposited Thin-Film Photovoltaic Device
Advanced Materials, published online on August 20, 2008

Researcher's homepage:
David B. Mitzi

Back to ERN August 25/September 1, 2008



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