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High volume method of making low-cost, lightweight solar materials

United States Patent

July 15, 2014
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Visit the Partnerships Directorate Website
A thin film solar cell and a method fabricating thin film solar cells on flexible substrates. The method includes including providing a flexible polymeric substrate, depositing a photovoltaic precursor on a surface of the substrate, such as CdTe, ZrTe, CdZnTe, CdSe or Cu(In,Ga)Se.sub.2, and exposing the photovoltaic precursor to at least one 0.5 microsecond to 10 second pulse of predominately infrared light emitted from a light source having a power output of about 20,000 W/cm.sup.2 or less to thermally convert the precursor into a crystalline photovoltaic material having a photovoltaic efficiency of greater than one percent, the conversion being carried out without substantial damage to the substrate.
Blue; Craig A. (Knoxville, TN), Clemens; Art (Knoxville, TN), Duty; Chad E. (Knoxville, TN), Harper; David C. (Kingston, TN), Ott; Ronald D. (Knoxville, TN), Rivard; John D. (Arlington, VA), Murray; Christopher S. (San Diego, CA), Murray; Susan L. (San Diego, CA), Klein; Andre R. (San Diego, CA)
UT-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge, TN)
12/ 889,486
September 24, 2010
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR22725 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.