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Optical control of multi-stage thin film solar cell production

United States Patent

May 17, 2016
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
National Renewable Energy Laboratory - Visit the NREL Technology Transfer Website
Optical Method for Automated Real Time Control of Elemental Composition, Distribution, and Film Thickness in CIGS Solar Cell Production
Embodiments include methods of depositing and controlling the deposition of a film in multiple stages. The disclosed deposition and deposition control methods include the optical monitoring of a deposition matrix to determine a time when at least one transition point occurs. In certain embodiments, the transition point or transition points are a stoichiometry point. Methods may also include controlling the length of time in which material is deposited during a deposition stage or controlling the amount of the first, second or subsequent materials deposited during any deposition stage in response to a determination of the time when a selected transition point occurs.
Li; Jian (Golden, CO), Levi; Dean H. (Indian Hills, CO), Contreras; Miguel A. (Golden, CO), Scharf; John (Edgewater, CO)
14/ 204,795
March 11, 2014
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN The United States Government has rights in this invention under Contract No. DE-AC36-08GO28308 between the United States Department of Energy and the Alliance for Sustainable Energy, LLC, the manager and operator of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.