Photovoltaic manufacturing: Present status, future prospects, and research needs

Colin A. Wolden, Juanita Kurtin, Jason B. Baxter, Ingrid Repins, Sean E. Shaheen, John T. Torvik, Angus A. Rockett, Vasilis M. Fthenakis, Eray S. Aydil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In May 2010 the United States National Science Foundation sponsored a two-day workshop to review the state-of-the-art and research challenges in photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing. This article summarizes the major conclusions and outcomes from this workshop, which was focused on identifying the science that needs to be done to help accelerate PV manufacturing. A significant portion of the article focuses on assessing the current status of and future opportunities in the major PV manufacturing technologies. These are solar cells based on crystalline silicon (c-Si), thin films of cadmium telluride (CdTe), thin films of copper indium gallium diselenide, and thin films of hydrogenated amorphous and nanocrystalline silicon. Current trends indicate that the cost per watt of c-Si and CdTe solar cells are being reduced to levels beyond the constraints commonly associated with these technologies. With a focus on TW/yr production capacity, the issue of material availability is discussed along with the emerging technologies of dye-sensitized solar cells and organic photovoltaics that are potentially less constrained by elemental abundance. Lastly, recommendations are made for research investment, with an emphasis on those areas that are expected to have cross-cutting impact.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number030801
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films


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