Cadmium telluride is normally referred to as the "dark-horse" of the thin film PV technology. However, with a band gap of 1.45 eV it has an optimum match with the solar spectrum. A practical efficiency of 18% is possible with existing device design, and theoretical limits are as high as 27.5% (Sites, 1988, Fig.6; i. e., even higher than CuInSe2 or silicon).


Voltage at Max Power (Volt)

Fig. 6. Various loss mechanisms in CdTe devices

Y. S. Tyan and E. A. Perez-Albueme of Kodak were the first to report achieving 10% efficiency in 1982...

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Подпись: Fig. 2. Various loss mechanisms in CuInSe2 devices

For the past several years, CuInSe2 has made considerable progress and currently is considered the leading thin-film material in terms of efficiency and long-term reliability (Zweibel and cowoikers, 1990). Practical efficiencies of 16% are possible with existing cell design, with theoretical limits of 23.5% for CuInSe2 devices (Sites 1988, Fig. 2). Several methods are available for depositing thin-film CuInSe2. This is reported by Ullal and coworkers (1991).

Mickelsen and Chen at Boeing Aerospace were the first to report on 10% efficient CuInSej solar cells by coevaporation in 1982. Since then, Boeing has improved the device performance to a total-area efficiency of 12.5% by the addition of Ga (Ga:In, 27:73). The most significant improvement has been in Voc of the device to 555 mV...

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Harin S. UllaJ, Kenneth Zweibel, Richard L. Mitchell, Rommel Noufi

Solar Energy Research Institute
1617 Cole Boulevard
Golden, CO 80401, USA
Tel: (303)231-1841
Fax: (303)231-1199


Low-cost, high-efficiency thin-film modules are an exciting photovoltaic technology option for generating cost-effective electricity in 1995 and beyond. In this paper we review the significant technical progress made in the following thin films: copper indium diselenide, cadmium telluride, and polycrystalline thin silicon films. Also, the recent U. S. DOE/SERI initiative to commercialize these emerging technologies is discussed.


Cadmium telluride, copper indium diselenide, modules, photovoltaics, polycrystalline thin films, silicon film, solar cells.


Substantial technical progress has be...

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