What is CIGS PV?

The acronym CIGS PV, refers to a specific type of thinfilm solar photovoltaic technology made from copper indium gallium selenide. A copper indium gallium selenide solar cell (or CIGS cell) is a thin film solar cell used to convert sunlight into electric power.

A typcial CIGS PV solar cell from NREL

The cells are manufactured by first depositing a thin layer of copper, indium, gallium and selenide on glass or plastic backing, and then attaching electrodes on the front and back of these panels to collect current. An advantage of CIGS technology is that the material has a high absorption coefficient and therefore strongly absorbs sunlight, allowing for a much thinner film than that of other semiconductor materials.

There are three main types of solar thin film technology be developed today.

  1. CIGS
  2. Cadmium telluride
  3. Amorphous silicon.

CIGS layers are thin enough to be flexible, allowing them to be deposited on flexible substrates.

Here is a video that explains the chemisty of CIGS PV technology.

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