Thin-film solar cells: review of materials, technologies and commercial status

  • Martin A. Green


The recent boom in the demand for photovoltaic modules has created a silicon supply shortage, providing an opportunity for thin-film photovoltaic modules to enter the market in significant quantities. Thin-films have the potential to revolutionise the present cost structure of photovoltaics by eliminating the use of the expensive silicon wafers that alone account for above 50% of total module manufacturing cost. The strengths and weaknesses of the contending thin-film photovoltaic technologies and the current state of commercial activity with each are briefly reviewed.


Amorphous Silicon Diselenide Cadmium Sulphide Photovoltaic Module Amorphous Silicon Solar Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    M. Schmela, Photon Int. February, 2, (2006)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    M. Schmela, Photon Int. March Issue, 3, pp. 46–53, (2004a); Photon Int. April Issue, 4, pp. 20–41, (2004b); Photon Int. February Issue, 2, pp. 48–67, (2005a); Photon Int. March Issue, 3, pp. 66–82, (2005b); Photon Int. March, 3, (2006)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    M.A. Green, Thin-Film Photovoltaics, in D.Y. Goswami (ed.), Advances in Solar Energy An Annual Review of Research and Development, New York: American Solar Energy Society, Inc., USA, pp. 187–214, (2003)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    M.A. Green, P.A., Basore, N. Chang, D. Clugston, R. Egan, R. Evans, J. Ho, D. Hogg, D. Jarnason, M. Keevers, P. Lasswell, J. O’Sullivan, U. Schubert, A. Turner, S.R. Wenham, T. Young, Crystalline Silicon on Glass (CSG) Thin-Film Solar Cell Modules, Sol. Energy, Special Issue on Thin Film Photovoltaics, 77, 857–863 (2004)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    P.A. Basore, Large-Area Deposition for Crystalline Silicon on Glass Modules, Conf. Record, 3rd World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion, (Osaka, May 2003), 935–938Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    P.A. Basore, Simplified Processing and Improved Efficiency of Crystalline Silicon on Glass Modules, Conf. Record, 19th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference, (Paris, June 2004)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    NREL, Cadmium Use in Photovoltaics (2005), Scholar
  8. 8.
    Siemer, J., Photon Int. September, 9, pp. 32–37 (2005)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    J. Plachy, Cadmium, USGS Minerals Yearbook: Metals and Minerals, (2002)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    M. Schmela, A. Kruitmann, Photon Int., 4, p. 38 (2002)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    M. Schmela, Photon Int. January issue, 1, pp. 22–24, (2003)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    B.A. Andersson, Prog. Photovoltaics 13, 61–76 (2000)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    M. Grätzel, Prog. Photovoltaics 8, 171–186 (2000)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    J.J.M Halls, R.H. Friend, Organic Photovoltaic Devices, Clean Electricity from Photovoltaics, M.D. Archer (ed.), (Imperial College Press, London, 2001) pp. 377–445Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    W.P. Hirshman, Photon Int. September issue, 9, pp. 72–76 (2005)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ARC Photovoltaics Centre of ExcellenceUniversity of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

Personalised recommendations