Emerging Solar Cells

  • Kasturi Lal Chopra
  • Suhit Ranjan Das


There are in addition to polycrystalline Si, amorphous Si, and Cu2S/CdS thin film solar cells, several other semiconductors that have exhibited potential as high-efficiency photovoltaic materials in thin film form: GaAs, CdTe, InP, Zn3P2, CdSe, Cu2Se, CuInSe2, ZnIn2Se4, and Cu2O. The interest in GaAs and CdTe dates back to the 1960s, but doubts about the adequate availability of these materials kept interest at a low level and confined to only a few laboratories. Recent years have witnessed a revival of research and development efforts on these two materials. The interest in the other materials is of more recent origin and, in the case of InP and CuInSe2, has been inspired by the observation of high (~ 15 and 12.5%, respectively) conversion efficiencies when they are fabricated into single crystal heterojunctions with CdS as the window material. Zn3P2 is attractive from the point of view of availability. For the same reason, and also because of very low cost, organic materials have excited interest in certain quarters. Of all the above-mentioned materials, only two, CuInSe2 and CdTe, have reached an advanced stage of development in thin film form, exhibiting conversion efficiencies of about 10 and 8%, respectively. Interestingly, both CuInSe2 and CdTe high-efficiency thin film solar cells employ CdS as the heterojunction window. The progress in the development of the other materials is encouraging, though not spectacular.


Solar Cell Chemical Vapor Deposition Thin Film Solar Cell Single Crystal Substrate Saturation Current Density 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kasturi Lal Chopra
    • 1
  • Suhit Ranjan Das
    • 2
  1. 1.Indian Institute of TechnologyNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.National Research CouncilOttawaCanada

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