Leading research institutes to collaborate on flexible CIGS

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Paris based IPVF, and the ZSW headquartered in Stuttgart, have signed a five-year cooperation agreement to work on flexible solar modules based on copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) semiconductor technology.

The agreement was signed by ZSW Head of Photovoltaics Professor Michael Powalla, and IPVF President Jean-Francois Minster, at a joint event held in Stuttgart on December 20, 2017.

The collaboration, according to ZSW, aims to further exploit CIGS potential to strengthen and accelerate the deployment of PV. Focus will be on the potential for this technology in flexible applications – new materials and material combinations, as well as gaining better understanding of the processes within a CIGS cell in order to increase efficiency.

Both institutes offer considerable knowledge and experience in this area: In June 2015, ZSW set an efficiency world record for CIGS of 22.6%, which stood up until last month, when Solar Frontier announced it had developed a 22.9% efficient cell.

Having been a niche technology even within the thin film market for many years, CIGS is currently enjoying a resurgence. The first of several planned large-scale manufacturing lines for CIGS modules came online last month, with more GW scale facilities set to begin production in 2018.