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Hole Blocking, Electron Transporting and Window Layer for Optimized Culn(1-x)GaxSe2 Solar Cells

Brookhaven National Laboratory

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A schematic illustration of an exemplary embodiment of the disclosed CIGS based solar cell, with a quasi-2-dimensional electron extracting layer and an organic hole blocking layer

A schematic illustration of an exemplary embodiment of the disclosed CIGS based solar cell, with a quasi-2-dimensional electron extracting layer and an organic hole blocking layer

Technology Marketing Summary

Polycrystalline copper indium gallium selenide (CuIn(1-x)GaxSe2 or CIGS) based direct bandgap semiconductors are strong candidates for low cost, high-throughput solar energy harvesting thin film photovoltaic devices. State of the art CIGS devices demonstrate 15-18% power conversion efficiencies with best cell performance reaching 20.4%. However, this is well below the theoretical maximum of 32.8% predicted for the identical material composition with a 1.15 eV. The main reasons for this disparity are due to the effects of parasitic layer absorption and charge recombination at the interface and the bulk of the CIGS layer. This novel structure of the CIGS solar cell affords significantly higher charge transport capability, improved performance, and lower fabrication and maintenance cost by reducing parasitic effects and/or interfacial recombination

Description

The invention relates to thin-film photovoltaic devices and methods of their use and manufacture. More particularly, the invention relates to polycrystalline CuIn(1-x)GaxSe2 (CIGS) based thin-film photovoltaic devices having independently tunable sublayers. In one embodiment, the invention relates to a CIGS photovoltaic device having a novel quasi-2D material as the n-doped extraction layer. In another embodiment, the invention relates to a CIGS photovoltaic device having a novel organic based hole blocking layer(s). In yet another embodiment, the invention relates to a CIGS photovoltaic device having a novel n-type fullerene layer(s).

Benefits

Thin film photovoltaic devices require less active material than bulk-type solar cells, reducing raw material cost. With the increase in efficiency offered by this novel structure, CIGS solar cells may offer a lower levelized cost of electricity while being environmentally friendly.

Applications and Industries

The new structure for thin film CIGS photovoltaic devices may be substituted for any other photovoltaics including solar cells.

Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
BSA 14-15PrototypeAvailable03/30/201503/30/2015

Contact BNL About This Technology

To: Avijit Sen<Asen@bnl.gov>