In the area of production-related CIGS, we support the industry with the operation of an innovation line that serves to qualify and test all processes needed in module production. The method for the manufacture of 60 x 120 cm² CIGS modules on glass is based on ZSW technology. Due to the risen demands of the market, the highest possible process speeds and maximum production uptimes of the machines are important factors. Using the well-equipped analytics equipment at ZSW among other things, whether and how there is a change in the course of very long batches is then examined, for example in the layer composition, electro-optical properties or long-term stability. Recommendations for process control can be derived, complemented by simulations of the complex cell heterostructure where required. The expertise gained from our own 30 x 30 cm² module line is particularly valuable as it relies on industrially relevant processes in all steps and is evolving continuously. As an example, the cell surface area required for cell connections and thus lost for electricity generation could be significantly reduced (see the figure below).
In addition to accompanying CIGSFab operation, the working group further develops the methods and materials that are used. Once the processes are proven successful in small cells in the laboratory, they are first transferred to our own in-line coating system and then to a production environment that is accompanied by entirely different constraints and challenges.