Ink-based Photovoltaics for Inexpensive CIGS Solar Panels Fabricated Using Nanoparticles

Technology #13296

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Researchers
Timothy J. Anderson
Umme Farva
Rangarajan Krishnan
Chinho Park
Managed By
Lenny Terry
Assistant Director 352-392-8929

Copper, Indium, Gallium and Selenide (CIGS) Solar Cells Convert More Sunlight into Electricity

These ink-based solar cells, made from copper, indium, gallium, and selenide (CIGS), will enable the development of high-efficiency, low-cost photovoltaic systems. Though available photovoltaic technologies vary greatly in terms of manufacturing complexity and cell efficiency, all are expensive to produce and exhibit poor material utilization. Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a CIGS photovoltaic cell that costs 30 percent less to manufacture and produces 10 percent more energy than crystalline solar cells, which account for more than 80 percent of the world’s photovoltaic market. This scalable technology has a variety of applications, including flexible substrates and building-integrated solar panels. It is well-positioned to capture a significant portion of the almost $25-billion-dollar-a-year global photovoltaics market.

Application

Solar cells made from CIGS and alloys formed via rapid, low temperature, eco-friendly wet synthesis of nanoparticles for flexible substrates and building-integrated photovoltaics

Advantages

  • Produced at normal atmospheric pressure and low temperatures, eliminating the need for complex and costly equipment
  • Utilizes eco-friendly and residue-free chemicals, minimizing environmental issues and maximizing material qualities
  • Creates a flexible substrate, enabling the product’s use in a wide variety of environments
  • Features an ink-based coating application, providing excellent uniformity and consistency for better performance
  • Maximizes use of available materials, reducing waste

Technology

Researchers at the University of Florida have developed ink-based solar cells for flexible substrates, building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) and other applications. This technology utilizes CIGS (copper, indium, gallium, and selenide) solar cells to create high-efficiency solar panels. These CIGS solar devices are fabricated from a nanoparticle mixture that can be produced at scale with high yield, incorporated into binder-free ink, and deposited rapidly with maximum materials utilization. Because the CIGS devices can be produced at atmospheric pressure and rapidly sintered at low temperatures, their manufacturing does not require complex or costly equipment.