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Advances in OptoElectronics
Volume 2007, Article ID 97545, 6 pages
Review Article

Thin-Film Solar Cells Based on the Polycrystalline Compound Semiconductors CIS and CdTe

1Zentrum für Sonnenenergie- und Wasserstoff-Forschung Baden-Württemberg (ZSW), Industriest 6, Stuttgart 70565, Germany
2SOLARPACT, Breslauer Ring 9a, Friedrichsdorf 61381, Germany

Received 7 May 2007; Accepted 18 July 2007

Academic Editor: Armin G. Aberle

Copyright © 2007 Michael Powalla and Dieter Bonnet. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Thin-film photovoltaic modules based on Cu-In-Ga-Se-S (CIS) and CdTe are already being produced with high-quality and solar conversion efficiencies of around 10%, with values up to 14% expected in the near future. The integrated interconnection of single cells into large-area modules of 0.6×1.2m2 enables low-cost mass production, so that thin-film modules will soon be able to compete with conventional silicon-wafer-based modules. This contribution provides an overview of the basic technologies for CdTe and CIS modules, the research and development (R&D) issues, production technology and capacities, the module performance in long-term outdoor testing, and their use in installations.