The main objective of NanoCIS is the establishment of a cooperative partnership between research organizations through a joint program of exchange of researchers for developing a new generation of photovoltaic (PV) solar cells. This new generation of PV solar cells will be based in approaches involving the use of new materials with high conversion efficiencies and low-cost fabrication techniques.
The broad aim is the theoretical and experimental design, synthesis and characterization of new advanced materials, based on chalcopyrites absorbers, allowing the manufacture of an intermediate band solar cell. New concepts such as Intermediate band and luminescent materials for further development of CIGS solar cells are going to be investigated. This new class of materials has been predicted theoretically as potential candidates for providing very high efficiency (63%) in solar energy conversion. According to present knowledge, this compounds based on chalcogenide-type semiconductors are quite novel as general materials, especially in their application to solar energy.
Electrodeposition (ED) is the technique chosen for developing such approaches. ED is essentially a non-vacuum approach to fabricate high quality thin-film materials for PV modules that could lower the manufacturing costs by over 50% and increase the PV module efficiencies. The ED technique offers the most attractive range of benefits leading to the low cost fabrication of PV cells, such as high rate of deposition, high resolution, high shape fidelity, self purification, scalability and good compatibility with existing processes. ED adds another cost effective step in low-cost solar cell because the transparent conducting oxide layers (TCO) can be deposited by the same method. The use of inline processing through an exclusively non-vacuum technique will further contribute to the improvement of device performance.