Thin Film Solar Cells

Thin-film photovoltaics (TFPVs) are being developed as a lower-cost alternative to silicon-wafer-based products. The three main categories of TFPVs are named after their active-layer components: thin silicon, II-VI (primarily CdTe), and CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide.) Each exists as an active layer on top of a transparent conductive oxide (TCO) on top of a substrate (usually glass or metal.)


Getting the right thickness and composition of active layers is important. Being too thin can affect efficiency and durability, while being too thick can increase cost. The wrong composition can drastically decrease efficiency and manufacturing yield.


Filmetrics F20 models are used by dozens of TFPV manufacturers to measure the thickness and optical constants of all three types of active layers. To measure active layers on top of TCO, Filmetrics has extensive experience characterizing both in-house and glass-supplier single or multi-layer TCO stacks.

Solar Panel

Measuring both the buffer layer (CdS) and absorber layer (CdTe) on a thin-film PV device.

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