PARIS – Swiss researchers claimed they have developed thin film solar cells on flexible polymer foils with a record efficiency of 20.4 percent for converting sunlight into electricity. The cells are based on copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) technology.
A research team at Empa, the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology, said it modified the properties of the GIGS layer, grown at low temperatures, which absorbs light and contributes to the photo-current in solar cells. The cell efficiency value was independently certified by the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems in Freiburg, Germany.
Empa’s High-efficiency flexible CIGS solar cells on polyimide film.
Empa noted that the 20.4-percent energy conversion efficiency exceeds the record value of 20.3 percent for CIGS solar cells on glass substrates – and equals the highest efficiencies for polycrystalline silicon wafer-based solar cells.
"We have now – finally – managed to close the "efficiency gap" to solar cells based on polycrystalline silicon wafers or CIGS thin film cells on glass", stated Empa’s project leader, Ayodhya N. Tiwari.
Empa said it is collaborating with Flisom AG, a Swiss startup company involved in the industrialization of flexible CIGS solar cells.
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