Miasole has developed Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) thin film photovoltaic products. The company produces various solar products that are produced with a combination of CIGS thin films with Miasole proprietary manufacturing processes. When copper, gallium, indium and selenium are combined together in proper proportion, it forms into a semiconductor. This semiconductor is used as a thin film to create solar cells. The CIGS is a band-gap semiconductor and a CIGS film is as thin as 1 micron that can produce photoelectric effect, which is equal to the 200-300 microns thickness of crystalline silicon wafer. Numerous thin film layers made of different materials are evenly placed on a substrate to make a CIGS solar cell.
The thin film solar cells are manufactured with 1% of semiconductor material that is used in silicon cells. The advantage of using raw material, in connection with manufacturing processes and low cost equipment, offers basic cost benefits to thin film materials comparing to crystalline silicon technologies. Since the thin film semiconductors can be placed at low cost, the thin film cells can be put together with roofing and building materials, and they can reduce the installation costs of photovoltaic systems.
The thin film solar cells, from Miasole, are made out of three different materials. They are Copper Indium Gallium Selenide, Amorphous Silicon Triple Junction and Cadmium Telluride. The CIGS has the highest lab cell efficiency and is seen as thin film solar semiconductors. The CIGS has lab efficiency of 19.9, Amorphous Silicon Triple Junction has 12.3% and the Cadmium Telluride has 16.5%. The CIGS holds three key features required for a photovoltaic material, namely efficient solar semiconductor, low cost and flexible substrates, and cost effective.