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Title: Nanosolar: Delivering Grid-Parity Solar Electricity

Abstract

Nanosolar has developed proprietary technology based on Copper-Indium-Gallium-diSelenide (CIGS) absorber technology that allows the printing of this semiconductor material using a high-speed, high-throughput roll-to-roll manufacturing process. A central challenge in cost-effectively constructing a large-area CIGS-based solar cell or module is that the elements of the CIGS layer must be within a narrow stoichiometric ratio on nano-, meso-, and macroscopic length scale in all three dimensions in order for the resulting cell or module to be highly efficient. Achieving precise stoichiometric composition over relatively large substrate areas is however difficult using traditional vacuum-based deposition processes. For example, it is difficult to uniformly deposit compounds and/or alloys containing more than one element by sputtering or evaporation. Both techniques rely on deposition approaches that are limited to line-of-sight and limited-area sources, tending to result in poor surface coverage. Line-of-sight trajectories and limited-area sources can result in non-uniform three-dimensional distribution of the elements in all three dimensions and/or poor film-thickness uniformity over large areas. These non-uniformities can occur over the nano-, meso-, and/or macroscopic scales. Such non-uniformity also alters the local stoichiometric ratios of the absorber layer, decreasing the potential power conversion efficiency of the complete cell or module. Nanosolar has overcome these challengesmore » by printing nanoparticulate CIGS precursor materials onto low-cost metal foil substrates, and performing a rapid thermal processing to convert the nanoparticulate coating into a CIGS absorber layer By locking in the appropriate stochiometry into the nanoparticulate precursor material, spatial uniformity is ensured in the coated layers, while printing at high speed and throughput minimizes solar cell cost.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. Nanosolar, Inc., San Jose, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Nanosolar, Inc., San Jose, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Solar Energy Technologies Office (EE-4S)
Contributing Org.:
Sunlink, Inc., San Rafael, CA (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
1354778
Report Number(s):
DE-FC36-07GO17047
DOE Contract Number:  
FC36-07GO17047
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
14 SOLAR ENERGY

Citation Formats

Sager, Brian. Nanosolar: Delivering Grid-Parity Solar Electricity. United States: N. p., 2012. Web. doi:10.2172/1354778.
Sager, Brian. Nanosolar: Delivering Grid-Parity Solar Electricity. United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1354778
Sager, Brian. Thu . "Nanosolar: Delivering Grid-Parity Solar Electricity". United States. https://doi.org/10.2172/1354778. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1354778.
@article{osti_1354778,
title = {Nanosolar: Delivering Grid-Parity Solar Electricity},
author = {Sager, Brian},
abstractNote = {Nanosolar has developed proprietary technology based on Copper-Indium-Gallium-diSelenide (CIGS) absorber technology that allows the printing of this semiconductor material using a high-speed, high-throughput roll-to-roll manufacturing process. A central challenge in cost-effectively constructing a large-area CIGS-based solar cell or module is that the elements of the CIGS layer must be within a narrow stoichiometric ratio on nano-, meso-, and macroscopic length scale in all three dimensions in order for the resulting cell or module to be highly efficient. Achieving precise stoichiometric composition over relatively large substrate areas is however difficult using traditional vacuum-based deposition processes. For example, it is difficult to uniformly deposit compounds and/or alloys containing more than one element by sputtering or evaporation. Both techniques rely on deposition approaches that are limited to line-of-sight and limited-area sources, tending to result in poor surface coverage. Line-of-sight trajectories and limited-area sources can result in non-uniform three-dimensional distribution of the elements in all three dimensions and/or poor film-thickness uniformity over large areas. These non-uniformities can occur over the nano-, meso-, and/or macroscopic scales. Such non-uniformity also alters the local stoichiometric ratios of the absorber layer, decreasing the potential power conversion efficiency of the complete cell or module. Nanosolar has overcome these challenges by printing nanoparticulate CIGS precursor materials onto low-cost metal foil substrates, and performing a rapid thermal processing to convert the nanoparticulate coating into a CIGS absorber layer By locking in the appropriate stochiometry into the nanoparticulate precursor material, spatial uniformity is ensured in the coated layers, while printing at high speed and throughput minimizes solar cell cost.},
doi = {10.2172/1354778},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/1354778}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {5}
}