Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) Photovoltaics
After a long incubation period, the CdTe segment of the Solar Industry has finally come of age. With a band gap of 1.5 eV, Tellurium-containing Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) is perfectly matched to the distribution of photons in the solar spectrum in terms of conversion to electricity. II-VI PERFORMANCE METALS is uniquely positioned as the ideal Tellurium partner for this critical technology through its breadth of technologies, capacity and experience.
II-VI PERFORMANCE METALS’s Tellurium is used in manufacturing the CdTe utilized by the World’s leading solar panel producers. This “Solar Grade” material is processed through our state-of-the-art manufacturing module in a tightly controlled environment. Skilled engineers from our Quality Department diligently monitor the quality of each batch of material produced, prior to its shipment to the customer.
Leading CdTe Photovoltaic panel producers have brought down their production costs well below $1/W, making Solar Energy an affordable solution for generations to come. II-VI PERFORMANCE METALS is proud to be a major contributor to this growth in Green Energy through its global leadership in Tellurium production.
Copper Indium Gallium DiSelenide (CIGS) Photovoltaics
Being a direct bandgap material, Selenium-containing CIGS also has very strong light absorption characteristics. Only 1-2 microns of CIGS is enough to absorb most sunlight. A much greater thickness of crystalline silicon is required for the same absorption. Due to these ideal optical properties, CIGS is therefore another critical material in the category of thin film solar cells, along with CdTe.
CIGS films can be manufactured by several different methods. The most common vacuum-based process co-evaporates or co-sputters copper, gallium, and indium, then anneals the resulting film with a selenide vapor to form the final CIGS structure. An alternate vacuum method directly co-evaporates copper, gallium, indium and selenium onto a heated substrate. Non-vacuum-based alternative processes that are also being considered include the deposition of nanoparticles of the precursor materials on the substrate and then sintering them in situ. More recently, electroplating has emerged as another low cost alternative for CIGS.
II-VI PERFORMANCE METALS’s high purity Solar Grade Selenium is setting the standard for qualification by numerous CIGS Solar panel producers across the world. Our material is used across the spectrum of CIGS technologies.