Abstract: The state of the art of the second-generation of solar cells based on the CdTe and CuInGaSe2 thin film technology will be described. This type of cells reached, on laboratory scale, photovoltaic conversion efficiencies respectively of 16.5% and 20.3% very close to those obtained with bulk materials. In particular, the materials, the layer sequences and deposition techniques used for the preparation of these two absorbers are described. Particular emphasis will be placed on major innovations that have enabled us to achieve high efficiencies with polycrystalline materials, showing how thin-film technology is mature enough to be transferred to industrial production. Finally, we will discuss about a project of technology-transfer developed at Parma University for the production of photovoltaic modules at an industrial level. In the near future, with our process, Arendi S.p.A. will reach a productivity of 18 MW/year. (© 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim)
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