New efficiency record for flexible CIGS solar cells

Our Swiss colleagues at EMPA have recently achieved a new efficiency record of 21.4% for flexible CIGS solar cell on polymer film. Solar cells of this type are especially suited for applications on roofs, transport vehicles or mobile devices.

A hand in the lab holding a flexible CIGS solar cell (image: EMPA)
Flexible CIGS solar cell (image: EMPA)


See the original press release at

Indium Availability for CIGS thin-film solar cells in Europe

CIGS Thin-Film Photovoltaics is indispensible for prosperity, energy transition and enabling net zero emission targets within the EU. CIGS solar modules are produced with small amounts of indium. The capacity for indium production in Europe is sufficient for more than 100 GW PV production per year with the potential to meet Terawatt challenges in a cost-effective manner. A number of renowned European and US research institute have compiled information from recent studies and publications showing that indium should be considered an “earth abundant element” in order to facilitate research progress in EU countries.

For more information, see the enclosed document.

This document is a work in progress. Please do not hesitate to suggest improvements in the comments, we will add them in due course.

Download here the Indium Availability for CIGS PVSEC-31 2021 presentation.

Facade with CIGS thin-film solar modules in Aarhus, Denmark

CIGS paper published in renowned Nature Communications journal

Research team pinpoints potential for improving CIGS solar cells

The efficiency of today’s thin-film solar cells with the CIGS compound semiconductor has already topped the 23 percent mark, but now a further increase looks to be within reach. A team staffed with researchers from the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW), Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) recently identified a key point where the performance of thin-film solar cells can be improved for the cell to convert more sunlight into electricity. Published in the renowned science journal Nature Communications in August 2020, the results of this investigation reveal how manufacturers of CIGS thin-film solar cells can achieve even higher efficiencies.

For further information, see:

Save the date: IW-CIGSTech 11 on the horizon!

Update: IW-CIGSTech 11 has been converted to an online conference.

Place and date have now been set for the international CIGS workshop IW-CIGSTech 11! It will take place at Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin (HZB) in Berlin Adlershof on 22nd and 23rd June 2020. The workshop will be co-hosted by HZB and ZSW.

The first day (Monday) will be devoted to industry updates, followed by a social event in the evening. On the second day (Tuesday), research organizations will have their say. The day will end in the early afternoon to enable everyone to get home on Tuesday.

More detailed information will be published at usual on the event website

You would like to be added to the event mailing list? Please write to info [at] iw-cigstech [dot] org.

New CIGS module efficiency record at NICE Solar Energy

German-Chines joint venture NICE Solar Energy GmbH has achieved a new world record efficiency for CIGS thin-film solar modules with 17.6 percent. This efficiency record, confirmed by TÜV Rheinland on a module surface area of 120 x 60 centimeters, was achieved on production equipment of Manz at the R&D site of NICE Solar Energy in Schwäbisch Hall. For more details, see news articles by Manz AG and pv magazine.

Tandem Solar Modules: One-Two Combination Packs a More Powerful Punch

Perovskite/ CIGS semiconductor pairing promises to boost photovoltaic efficiency

From the laboratory cell to a small solar module: A perovskite innovation from the ZSW laboratory. Photo: ZSW.

The efficiency ceiling of commercially available solar modules leaves little room for improvement. Tandem solar modules with two light-harvesting active layers have far greater potential. The future could well belong to this promising technology. Researchers engaged in the Capitano project are combining thin-film solar modules based on perovskite semiconductors with semiconductors made of copper, indium, gallium and selenium (CIGS). This combination is the key to building remarkably efficient tandem solar cells with all the advantages of thin-film technology and an efficiency factor that could top the 30-percent mark. The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), the Schwäbisch Hall-based enterprise NICE Solar Energy, and the Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg (ZSW) have joined forces in this project with the ZSW acting as coordinator.

Download complete press release as PDF.

Visit coordinator ZSW this week at EU-PVSEC in Marseille, booth A1.

Save the date: IW-CIGSTech 9 to be held on June 18, 2018, at ZSW in Stuttgart, Germany

IW-CIGSTech 8 has been a great success, presenting hot CIGS thin-film solar cell research and industry news to a packed auditorium in Stuttgart, Germany:

IW-CIGSTech 8 participants in front of the CIGS facade at new ZSW building in Stuttgart
IW-CIGSTech 8 participants in front of the CIGS facade at new ZSW building in Stuttgart

Continue reading Save the date: IW-CIGSTech 9 to be held on June 18, 2018, at ZSW in Stuttgart, Germany

Register now for IW-CIGSTech 8 – the international workshop by HZB and ZSW

International IW-CIGS-Tech 8 workshop on May 30 in Stuttgart to focus on latest advances

Global demand for photovoltaic systems is rising sharply. CIGS thin-film modules have become a hot topic for the solar industry. International experts will convene in Stuttgart on May 30, 2017, at the annual IW-CIGSTech workshop to discuss past and potential future technical and industrial advances in this solar technology. The Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW) and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB) are hosting the eighth installment of this workshop, which caters to scientists, engineers and industry specialists. Continue reading Register now for IW-CIGSTech 8 – the international workshop by HZB and ZSW