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Sputtered Thin Film Photovoltaics

Naval Research Laboratory

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SputteringThinFilmPhotovoltaics

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Technology Marketing SummaryThe Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed a suite of processes for the fabrication of bulk and sputtered thin film copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) and related materials for photovoltaic (PV) applications.DescriptionThe Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed a suite of processes for the fabrication of bulk and sputtered thin film copper indium gallium diselenide(CIGS) and related materials for photovoltaic (PV) applications. These processes result in films with better uniformity over large areas than existing techniques such as evaporation.The technology developed at NRL permits the fabrication of high purity bulk samples with a large range of compositions which
are then converted into targets that can be sputtered to make films with optimum properties for PV applications, ultimately resulting in a more efficient solar cell.These NRL technologies permit optimized PV films to be deposited in a single deposition step with a high degree of uniformity and control over film composition.
Benefits
  • Well-established fabrication method (sputtering) that produces uniform, large-area coatings
  • Allows for targets and films with a large range of compositions, even non-stoichiometric
  • High material utilization
  • Eliminates need for processing with highly toxic chemicals (H2Se gas, potassium cyanide)
Applications and Industries
  • High-efficiency thin film photovoltaics
  • Flexible photovoltaics
More Information

References:

"Cu(In,Ga)Se2 Thin Films and Devices Sputtered from a Single Target Without Additional Selenization," Thin Solid Films 519 (2011) 7763-7765.

"Characterization of Cu(In,Ga)Se2 Thin Films and Devices Sputtered from a Single Target Without Additional Selenization," 37th IEEE PVSC (2011).

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Date
Application 20110067997
Application
20110067997
SYNTHESIS OF HIGH-PURITY BULK COPPER INDIUM GALLIUM SELENIDE MATERIALS
A method for forming a high purity, copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) bulk material is disclosed. The method includes sealing precursor materials for forming the bulk material in a reaction vessel. The precursor materials include copper, at least one chalcogen selected from selenium, sulfur, and tellurium, and at least one element from group IIIA of the periodic table, which may be selected from gallium, indium, and aluminum. The sealed reaction vessel is heated to a temperature at which the precursor materials react to form the bulk material. The bulk material is cooled in the vessel to a temperature below the solidification temperature of the bulk material and opened to release the formed bulk material. A sputtering target formed by the method can have an oxygen content of 10 ppm by weight, or less.
09/17/2010
Filed
Application 20110067757
Application
20110067757
COPPER INDIUM GALLIUM SELENIDE (CIGS) THIN FILMS WITH COMPOSITION CONTROLLED BY CO-SPUTTERING
A method and apparatus for forming a thin film of a copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS)-type material are disclosed. The method includes providing first and second targets in a common sputtering chamber. The first target includes a source of CIGS material, such as an approximately stoichiometric polycrystalline CIGS material, and the second target includes a chalcogen, such as selenium, sulfur, tellurium, or a combination of these elements. The second target provides an excess of chalcogen in the chamber. This can compensate, at least in part, for the loss of chalcogen from the CIGS-source in the first target, resulting in a thin film with a controlled stoichiometry which provides effective light absorption when used in a solar cell.
09/17/2010
Filed
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
ENE06DevelopmentAvailable03/19/201203/19/2012

Contact NRL About This Technology

To: Dr. Rita Manak<cameron.childs@nrl.navy.mil>