crystalsol develops an entirely new type of flexible photovoltaic technology. The patented technology combines the advantages of high efficiency single-crystalline materials and low cost roll-to-roll production. The technology is based on decades of research for the Russian military and Philips semiconductor know-how from the 1960s. The core innovation is the light absorbing layer made of a patented new crystalline semiconductor powder.
The light absorbing active layer of the film is made of crystalline semiconductor particles with a typical diameter of 40 μm arranged as a single layer fixed by a polymer film.
The semiconductor particles contain the abundant and low-cost elements copper, zinc, tin, sulphur, and selenium (CZTS). Every semiconductor particle is coated with an extremely thin buffer layer to create the p/n junction. When the crystalline powder enters module production every particle is a finished working solar cell. The production process is based on roll-to-roll technology ensuring high throughput and yield similar to the printing industry.
Consequently the required investment in crystalsol’s manufacturing equipment is significantly below current capital requirements for photovoltaic plants. Main reason is the elimination of vacuum technology for the active layer and the low process temperatures.
Due to the characteristics of crystalsol’s technology upscaling issues – common for thin film technologies – are minimized. As every semiconductor particle is a tiny photovoltaic cell it does not make a difference how large the finished film is. This is an advantage compared to all thin film technologies where all upscaling to larger areas requires costly and time consuming development.