A thin-film solar cell (TFSC), also called a thin-film photovoltaic cell (TFPV), is a second generation solar cell that is made by depositing one or more thin layers, or thin film (TF) of photovoltaic material on a substrate, such as glass, plastic or metal. Thin-film solar cells are commercially used in several technologies, including cadmium telluride (CdTe), copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS), and amorphous and other thin-film silicon (a-Si, TF-Si).
A copper indium gallium selenide solar cell or CIGS cell uses an absorber made of copper, indium, gallium, selenide (CIGS), while gallium-free variants of the semiconductor material are abbreviated CIS. It is one of three mainstream thin-film technologies, with a lab-efficiency above 20 percent and a share of 2 percent in the overall PV market in 2013. Traditional methods of fabrication involve vacuum processes including co-evaporation and sputtering, and rotary magnetron sputtering technology is used in all major forms of solar cell technology.
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