Comprising Only Group I-iii-vi Chalcopyrite Compound (e.g., Cuinse 2 , Cugase 2 , Cuingase 2 ) (epo) Patents (Class 257/E31.027)
  • Patent number: 9887305
    Abstract: Disclosed are an aggregated precursor for manufacturing a light absorption layer of solar cells comprising a first phase comprising a copper (Cu)-containing chalcogenide and a second phase comprising an indium (In) and/or gallium (Ga)-containing chalcogenide wherein 30% or more aggregated precursors based on the total amount of precursors are divided into particle aggregates comprising first phases and/or second phases, or independent particles having first phases or second phases, in an ink solvent for manufacturing the light absorption layer, and a method of manufacturing the same.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 2014
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2018
    Assignee: LG CHEM, LTD.
    Inventors: Seokhee Yoon, Seokhyun Yoon, Taehun Yoon
  • Patent number: 9722123
    Abstract: A solar cell of an embodiment has a first solar cell, a second solar cell, and an intermediate layer between the first and second solar cells. The first solar cell has a Si layer as a light absorbing layer. The second solar cell has as a light absorbing layer one of a group I-III-VI2 compound layer and a group I2-II-IV-VI4 compound layer. The intermediate layer has an n+-type Si sublayer and at least one selected from a p+-type Si sublayer, a metal compound sublayer, and a graphene sublayer. The metal compound sublayer is represented by MX where M denotes at least one type of element selected from Nb, Mo, Pd, Ta, W, and Pt and X denotes at least one type of element selected from S, Se, and Te.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 20, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 1, 2017
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Kazushige Yamamoto, Naoyuki Nakagawa, Soichiro Shibasaki, Hiroki Hiraga, Mutsuki Yamazaki, Shinya Sakurada, Michihiko Inaba
  • Patent number: 9373788
    Abstract: A method for fabricating a semiconductor device includes supplying a first source gas including a germanium (Ge) precursor onto a semiconductor substrate for a first time period, and periodically interrupting the supplying of the first source gas for the first time period to form Ge elements on the semiconductor substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 20, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2016
    Assignee: SK Hynix Inc.
    Inventors: Young Seok Kwon, Kwon Hong
  • Patent number: 9006017
    Abstract: A circuit layer is formed on a surface of a substrate and includes a transistor. A photoelectric conversion element includes a photoelectric conversion layer of a chalcopyrite-type semiconductor provided between a first electrode and a second electrode. A supply layer is formed between the circuit layer and the photoelectric conversion layer and contains an Ia group element. Diffusion of the Ia group element to the photoelectric conversion layer improves the photoelectric conversion efficiency. A protective layer is formed between the supply layer and the circuit layer and prevents the diffusion of the Ia group element to the circuit layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 22, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventor: Manabu Kudo
  • Patent number: 8987037
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing a solar cell includes forming a buffer layer between an optical absorption layer and a window electrode layer. Forming the buffer layer includes depositing a metal material on the optical absorption layer, supplying a non-metal material on the optical absorption layer, supplying a gas material including oxygen atoms on the optical absorption layer, and reacting the metal material with the non-metal material. The gas material reacts with the metal material and the non-metal material to form a metal sulfur oxide on the optical absorption layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 24, 2015
    Assignee: Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute
    Inventors: Yong-Duck Chung, Dae-Hyung Cho, Won Seok Han
  • Patent number: 8975645
    Abstract: Two light receiving elements are formed on a support substrate. A first light receiving element is formed of a p-type layer, an n-type layer, a light absorption semiconductor layer, an anode electrode, a cathode electrode, a protection film, etc. A second light receiving element is formed of a p-type layer, an n-type layer, a transmissive film, an anode electrode, a cathode electrode, a protection film, etc. The light absorption semiconductor layer absorbs light in a wavelength range ? and disposed closer to the light receiving surface than is the pn junction region. The transmissive film has no light absorption range and disposed closer to the light receiving surface than is the pn junction region. The amount of light in the wavelength range ? is measured through computation using a detection signal from the first light receiving element and a detection signal from the second light receiving element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 10, 2015
    Assignee: Rohm Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Ken Nakahara, Shunsuke Akasaka, Koki Sakamoto, Tetsuo Fujii, Shunsuke Furuse, Soichiro Arimura
  • Patent number: 8900664
    Abstract: A method is disclosed for fabricating high efficiency CIGS solar cells including the deposition of a multi-component metal precursor film on a substrate. The substrate is then inserted into a system suitable for exposing the precursor to a chalcogen to form a chalcogenide TFPV absorber. One or more Na precursors are used to deposit a Na-containing layer on the precursor film in the system. This method eliminates the use of dedicated equipment and processes for introducing Na to the TFPV absorber.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 2, 2014
    Assignee: Intermolecular, Inc.
    Inventors: Haifan Liang, Jessica Eid, Jeroen Van Duren
  • Patent number: 8890270
    Abstract: It is aimed to provide a photoelectric conversion device having high reliability by reducing cracks occurring in a photoelectric conversion layer. Included is a laminate in which a substrate, a pair of electrodes located on the substrate with a gap therebetween, and a photoelectric conversion layer located in the gap and on the pair of electrodes are laminated, wherein each of the pair of electrodes includes a linear portion extending along the gap and a first projecting portion including a curved tip surface projecting from the linear portion toward the gap, the linear portion and the first projecting portion being alternately arranged along the gap.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 18, 2014
    Assignee: KYOCERA Corporation
    Inventor: Yukari Hashimoto
  • Patent number: 8883537
    Abstract: A circuit layer is formed on a surface of a substrate and includes a transistor. A photoelectric conversion element includes a photoelectric conversion layer of a chalcopyrite-type semiconductor provided between a first electrode and a second electrode. A supply layer is formed between the circuit layer and the photoelectric conversion layer and contains an Ia group element. Diffusion of the Ia group element to the photoelectric conversion layer improves the photoelectric conversion efficiency. A protective layer is formed between the supply layer and the circuit layer and prevents the diffusion of the Ia group element to the circuit layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 16, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 11, 2014
    Assignee: Seiko Epson Corporation
    Inventor: Manabu Kudo
  • Patent number: 8865512
    Abstract: Thin-film solar cells of the CIGS-type use two integrally formed buffer layers, a first ALD Zn(O,S) buffer layer on top of the CIGS-layer and a second ALD ZnO-buffer layer on top of the first buffer layer. Both buffer layers are deposited in the same process step using ALD (atom layer deposition). The technology also relates to a method of producing the cell and a process line for manufacturing of the cell structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 27, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2014
    Assignee: Solibro Research AB
    Inventors: Charlotte Platzer Björkman, John Kessler, Lars Stolt
  • Patent number: 8852991
    Abstract: Provided is a method of manufacturing a solar cell. The method includes: preparing a substrate with a rear electrode; and forming a copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) based light absorbing layer on the rear electrode at a substrate temperature of room temperature to about 350° C., wherein the forming of the CIGS based light absorbing layer includes projecting an electron beam on the CIGS based light absorbing layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 7, 2014
    Assignee: Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute
    Inventor: Yong-Duck Chung
  • Patent number: 8841160
    Abstract: Disclosed are methods for producing chalcopyrite compound (e.g., copper indium selenide (CIS), copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), copper indium sulfide (CIS) or copper indium gallium sulfide (CIGS)) thin films. The methods are based on solution processes, such as printing, particularly, multi-stage coating of pastes or inks of precursors having different physical properties. Chalcopyrite compound thin films produced by the methods can be used as light-absorbing layers for thin-film solar cells. The use of the chalcopyrite compound thin films enables the fabrication of thin-film solar cells with improved efficiency at low costs.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 28, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 23, 2014
    Assignee: Korea Institute of Science and Technology
    Inventors: Byoung Koun Min, Hee Sang An, Yun Jeong Hwang
  • Patent number: 8772122
    Abstract: Programmable metallization memory cells having an active electrode, an opposing inert electrode and a variable resistive element separating the active electrode from the inert electrode. The variable resistive element includes a plurality of alternating solid electrolyte layers and electrically conductive layers. The electrically conductive layers electrically couple the active electrode to the inert electrode in a programmable metallization memory cell. Methods to form the same are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2014
    Assignee: Seagate Technology LLC
    Inventors: Nurul Amin, Insik Jin, Wei Tian, Andrew James Wirebaugh, Venugopalan Vaithyanathan, Ming Sun
  • Patent number: 8748216
    Abstract: The present invention provides a non-vacuum method of depositing a photovoltaic absorber layer based on electrophoretic deposition of a mixture of nanoparticles with a controlled atomic ratio between the elements. The nanoparticles are first dispersed in a liquid medium to form a colloidal suspension and then electrophoretically deposited onto a substrate to form a thin film photovoltaic absorber layer. The absorber layer may be subjected to optional post-deposition treatments for photovoltaic absorption.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 5, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 10, 2014
    Assignee: IMRA America, Inc.
    Inventors: Wei Guo, Yu Jin, Bing Liu, Yong Che, Kevin V. Hagedorn
  • Patent number: 8741182
    Abstract: This invention relates to methods for materials using compounds, polymeric compounds, and compositions used to prepare semiconductor and optoelectronic materials and devices including thin film and band gap materials. This invention provides a range of compounds, polymeric compounds, compositions, materials and methods directed ultimately toward photovoltaic applications, transparent conductive materials, as well as devices and systems for energy conversion, including solar cells. This invention further relates to thin film AIGS, AIS, and AGS materials made by a process of providing one or more polymeric precursor compounds or inks thereof, providing a substrate, depositing the compounds or inks onto the substrate; and heating the substrate at a temperature of from about 20° C. to about 650° C.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2014
    Assignee: Precursor Energetics, Inc.
    Inventors: Kyle L. Fujdala, Wayne A. Chomitz, Zhongliang Zhu, Matthew C. Kuchta, Qinglan Huang
  • Patent number: 8709856
    Abstract: In particular embodiments, a method is described for forming photovoltaic devices that includes providing a substrate suitable for use in a photovoltaic device, depositing a conductive contact layer over the substrate, depositing a salt solution over the surface of the conductive contact layer, the solution comprising a volatile solvent and an alkali metal salt solute, and depositing a semiconducting absorber layer over the solute residue left by the evaporated solvent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 4, 2010
    Date of Patent: April 29, 2014
    Assignee: Zetta Research and Development LLC—AQT Series
    Inventors: Brian Josef Bartholomeusz, Michael Bartholomeusz
  • Publication number: 20140096826
    Abstract: Methods for depositing a kesterite film comprising a compound of the formula: Cu2?xZn1+ySn(S1?zSez)4+q, wherein 0?x?1; 0?y?1; 0?z?1; ?1?q?1, generally include contacting a hydrazine-based solvent, a source of Cu, a source of Sn, a source of Zn carboxylate, a source of at least one of S and Se, under conditions sufficient to form a solution substantially free of solid particles; applying the solution onto a substrate to form a thin layer; and annealing the thin layer at a temperature, pressure, and length of time sufficient to form the kesterite film. Also disclosed are hydrazine-based precursor solutions for forming a kesterite film and a photovoltaic device including the kesterite film formed by the above method.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 4, 2012
    Publication date: April 10, 2014
    Applicant: INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION
    Inventor: Teodor K. Todorov
  • Patent number: 8691619
    Abstract: This invention aims to provide a laminated structure and an integrated structure of a high production efficiency for a CIS based thin-film solar cell, which can produce a high-resistance buffer layer of the CIS based thin-film solar cell efficiently on a series of production lines and which needs no treatment of wastes or the like, and a manufacturing method for the structures. The CIS based thin-film solar cell includes a back electrode, a p-type CIS based light absorbing layer, a high-resistance buffer layer and an n-type transparent conductive film laminated in this order. The high-resistance buffer layer and the n-type transparent conductive film are formed of thin films of a zinc oxide group. The buffer layer contacts the p-type CIS based light absorbing layer directly, and has a resistivity of 500?·cm or higher.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 25, 2008
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2014
    Assignee: Showa Shell Sekiyu, K.K.
    Inventors: Hideki Hakuma, Katsuya Tabuchi, Yosuke Fujiwara, Katsumi Kushiya
  • Patent number: 8673675
    Abstract: A method for processing a thin film photovoltaic module. The method includes providing a plurality of substrates, each of the substrates having a first electrode layer and an overlying absorber layer composed of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) or copper indium selenide (CIS) material. The absorber material comprises a plurality of sodium bearing species. The method maintains the plurality of substrates in a controlled environment after formation of at least the absorber layer through one or more processes up to a lamination process. The controlled environment has a relative humidity of less than 10% and a temperature ranging from about 10 degrees Celsius to about 40 degrees Celsius. The method subjects the plurality of substrates to a liquid comprising water at a temperature from about 10 degrees Celsius to about 80 degrees Celsius to process the plurality of substrates after formation of the absorber layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2014
    Assignee: Stion Corporation
    Inventor: Robert D. Wieting
  • Patent number: 8673672
    Abstract: In the present invention, copper(I) selenide (Cu2-xSe) nanoparticles are fabricated by pyrolysis in an inert atmosphere. Uniformly dispersed Cu2-xSe particles are synthesized by altering Cu/Se ratio, the concentration of Se Precursors (TOP Se), reaction time and temperature. Analysis by inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES) of said Cu2-xSe nanoparticles reveals that the composition of the nanoparticles is Cu 1.95Se, wherein x=0.05. In addition, Cu2-xSe is dissolved in ethanol to deposit thin films by electrophoretical deposition (EPD) in an inert atmosphere, wherein a positive electrode and a negative electrode are employed. The positive electrode is made of stainless steel plate and the negative electrode is made of indium tin oxide on a glass substrate. Investigations on properties and surface morphology thereof in different electrophoretical conditions are carried out. The rate of EPD is found to significantly influence the quality of thin films.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 18, 2014
    Assignee: National Chung Cheng University
    Inventors: Chu-Chi Ting, Wen-Yuan Lee
  • Patent number: 8653616
    Abstract: It is aimed to provide a photoelectric conversion device having high adhesion between a first semiconductor layer and an electrode layer as well as high photoelectric conversion efficiency. A photoelectric conversion device comprises an electrode layer, a first semiconductor layer located on the electrode layer and comprising a chalcopyrite-based compound semiconductor of group I-III-VI and oxygen, and a second semiconductor layer located on the first semiconductor layer and forming a pn junction with the first semiconductor layer. In the photoelectric conversion device, the first semiconductor layer has a higher molar concentration of oxygen in a part located on the electrode layer side with respect to a center portion in a lamination direction of the first semiconductor layer than a molar concentration of oxygen in the whole of the first semiconductor layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Assignee: KYOCERA Corporation
    Inventors: Rui Kamada, Shuichi Kasai
  • Publication number: 20140045293
    Abstract: A method for fabricating thin film solar cells for a concentrated photovoltaic system uses three shadow masks. The first mask, used to deposit a back contact layer, has multiple horizontal and vertical lines defining columns and rows of cells, and multiple tabs each located in a cell along a center of a vertical border. The second mask, used to deposit a CIGS absorption layer, a window layer and a transparent contact layer, is similar to the first mask except the tabs are located along the opposite vertical border of the cells. The third mask, used to deposit a metal grid layer, has multiple bus bar openings and finger openings. Each bus bar opening is located along a horizontal center line of a cell and overlaps the second tab of a neighboring cell. The cells in a horizontal row are connected in series, forming a linear solar receiver.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 7, 2012
    Publication date: February 13, 2014
    Applicant: PU NI TAI YANG NENG (HANGZHOU) CO., LIMITED
    Inventors: Dong Wang, Pingrong Yu, Xuegeng Li
  • Patent number: 8643027
    Abstract: Small particle compositions including nanoparticle compositions are provided. The particle compositions, in some cases, are characterized by having an extremely small average particle size (e.g., 150 nanometers or less). The small particles may comprise a semiconductor material and/or a light-emitting material. In some embodiments, the particles may be in the form a preferred shape including platelets, amongst others. The small particle compositions may be produced in a milling process. In some embodiments, the milling process uses preferred types of grinding media to form milled particles having desired characteristics (e.g., particle size, shape). The small (or nano) particle compositions may be used in a variety of different applications including light-emitting applications. In certain applications, it may be desirable to form thin films from the small particle compositions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 2006
    Date of Patent: February 4, 2014
    Assignee: Primet Precision Materials, Inc.
    Inventors: Archit Lal, Robert J. Dobbs
  • Patent number: 8633556
    Abstract: A method for making a solid-state imaging device includes forming a pinning layer, which is a P-type semiconductor layer or an N-type semiconductor layer, on a first substrate by deposition; forming a semiconductor layer on the pinning layer; forming a photoelectric conversion unit in the semiconductor layer, the photoelectric conversion unit being configured to convert incident light into an electrical signal; forming, on the semiconductor layer, a transistor of a pixel unit and a transistor of a peripheral circuit unit disposed in the periphery of the pixel unit, and then forming a wiring section on the semiconductor layer; bonding a second substrate on the wiring section; and removing the first substrate after the second substrate is bonded.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 20, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 21, 2014
    Assignee: Sony Corporation
    Inventors: Tetsuya Ikuta, Yuki Miyanami
  • Patent number: 8617916
    Abstract: A chemical bath deposition method is presented to prepare different thin films on plane substrates. In particular, they are useful to deposit CdS or ZnS buffer layers in manufacture of thin film solar cells. This method and the deposition apparatus deposit thin films onto vertically travelling plane workpieces delivered by a conveyor belt. The thin films are deposited by continuously spraying the reaction solutions from their freshly mixed styles to gradually aged forms until the designed thickness is obtained. The substrates and the solutions are heated to a reaction temperature. During the deposition processes, the front surfaces of the substrates are totally covered with the sprayed solutions but the substrate backsides are remained dry. The reaction ambience inside the reactor can be isolated from the outside atmosphere. The method is designed to generate a minimum amount of waste solutions for chemical treatments.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Inventor: Jiaxiong Wang
  • Publication number: 20130337602
    Abstract: A sputtering target has a cylindrical backing tube having two edges and a sidewall comprising a middle portion located between two end portions. The sputtering material is on the backing tube. The sputtering material does not cover at least one end portion of the backing tube. The sputtering target also has a feature which prevents or reduces at least one of chalcogen buildup and arcing at the at least one end portion of the backing tube not covered by the sputtering material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 18, 2012
    Publication date: December 19, 2013
    Applicant: MiaSole
    Inventors: Robert Martinson, Heinrich Von Bunau, Mark Campello, Ron Rulkens, Tom Heckel, Johannes Vlcek
  • Patent number: 8610129
    Abstract: A stack-type image sensor using a compound semiconductor. The stack-type image sensor includes a stack of photoelectric conversion units which are sequentially arranged in a light incident direction and which absorb light in ascending order of a wavelength from shortest to longest.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 29, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2013
    Assignee: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jung-gyu Nam, Sang-cheol Park, Kyu-sik Kim, Young-jun Park
  • Patent number: 8610133
    Abstract: Two light receiving elements are formed on a support substrate. A first light receiving element is formed of a p-type layer, an n-type layer, a light absorption semiconductor layer, an anode electrode, a cathode electrode, a protection film, etc. A second light receiving element is formed of a p-type layer, an n-type layer, a transmissive film, an anode electrode, a cathode electrode, a protection film, etc. The light absorption semiconductor layer absorbs light in a wavelength range ? and disposed closer to the light receiving surface than is the pn junction region. The transmissive film has no light absorption range and disposed closer to the light receiving surface than is the pn junction region. The amount of light in the wavelength range ? is measured through computation using a detection signal from the first light receiving element and a detection signal from the second light receiving element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 17, 2013
    Assignee: Rohm Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Ken Nakahara, Shunsuke Akasaka, Koki Sakamoto, Tetsuo Fujii, Shunsuke Furuse, Soichiro Arimura
  • Publication number: 20130312831
    Abstract: Techniques for enhancing energy conversion efficiency in chalcogenide-based photovoltaic devices by improved grain structure and film morphology through addition of urea into a liquid-based precursor are provided. In one aspect, a method of forming a chalcogenide film includes the following steps. Metal chalcogenides are contacted in a liquid medium to form a solution or a dispersion, wherein the metal chalcogenides include a Cu chalcogenide, an M1 and an M2 chalcogenide, and wherein M1 and M2 each include an element selected from the group consisting of: Ag, Mn, Mg, Fe, Co, Cd, Ni, Cr, Zn, Sn, In, Ga, Al, and Ge. At least one organic additive is contacted with the metal chalcogenides in the liquid medium. The solution or the dispersion is deposited onto a substrate to form a layer. The layer is annealed at a temperature, pressure and for a duration sufficient to form the chalcogenide film.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 1, 2012
    Publication date: November 28, 2013
    Applicant: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: David Brian Mitzi, Xiaofeng Qiu
  • Patent number: 8592933
    Abstract: A photoelectric conversion device has a high S/N ratio and can increase the detection efficiency even under a low luminance. The photoelectric conversion device generates an increased electric charge by impact ionization in a photoelectric conversion unit formed from a chalcopyrite type semiconductor, so as to improve dark current characteristic.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 26, 2013
    Assignees: Rohm Co., Ltd., National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
    Inventors: Kenichi Miyazaki, Osamu Matsushima, Shigeru Niki, Keiichiro Sakurai, Shogo Ishizuka
  • Patent number: 8585933
    Abstract: This invention relates to methods for making materials using compounds, polymeric compounds, and compositions used to prepare semiconductor and optoelectronic materials and devices including thin film and band gap materials. This invention provides a range of compounds, polymeric compounds, compositions, materials and methods directed ultimately toward photovoltaic applications, transparent conductive materials, as well as devices and systems for energy conversion, including solar cells. This invention further relates to methods for making AIGS, AIS or AGS materials by providing one or more polymeric precursor compounds or inks thereof, providing a substrate, depositing the compounds or inks onto the substrate; and heating the substrate at a temperature of from about 20° C. to about 650° C.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Assignee: Precursor Energetics, Inc.
    Inventors: Kyle L. Fujdala, Wayne A. Chomitz, Zhongliang Zhu, Matthew C. Kuchta, Qinglan Huang
  • Patent number: 8585932
    Abstract: This invention relates to methods and articles using compounds, polymeric compounds, and compositions used to prepare semiconductor and optoelectronic materials and devices including thin film and band gap materials. This invention provides a range of compounds, polymeric compounds, compositions, materials and methods directed ultimately toward photovoltaic applications, transparent conductive materials, as well as devices and systems for energy conversion, including solar cells. In particular, this invention relates to polymeric precursor compounds and precursor materials for preparing photovoltaic layers. A compound may contain repeating units {MB(ER)(ER)} and {MA(ER)(ER)}, wherein MA is Ag, each MB is In or Ga, each E is S, Se, or Te, and each R is independently selected, for each occurrence, from alkyl, aryl, heteroaryl, alkenyl, amido, silyl, and inorganic and organic ligands.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Assignee: Precursor Energetics, Inc.
    Inventors: Kyle L. Fujdala, Wayne A. Chomitz, Zhongliang Zhu, Matthew C. Kuchta, Qinglan Huang
  • Patent number: 8586398
    Abstract: Provided herein are methods of incorporating additives into thin-film solar cell substrates and back contacts. In certain embodiments, sodium is incorporated into a substrate or a back contact of a thin-film photovoltaic stack where it can diffuse into a CIGS or other absorber layer to improve efficiency and/or growth of the layer. The methods involve laser treating the substrate or back contact in the presence of a sodium (or sodium-containing) solid or vapor to thereby incorporate sodium into the surface of the substrate or back contact. In certain embodiments, the surface is simultaneously smoothed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2013
    Assignee: Miasole
    Inventors: Dallas W. Meyer, Jason Stephen Corneille, Steven Thomas Croft, Mulugeta Zerfu Wudu, William James McColl
  • Publication number: 20130284252
    Abstract: A back contact configuration for a CIGS-type photovoltaic device is provided. According to certain examples, the back contact configuration includes an optical matching layer and/or portion of or including MoSe2 having a thickness substantially corresponding to maxima of absorption of reflected light in CIGS-type absorbers used in certain photovoltaic devices. Certain example methods for making the back contact configuration wherein a thickness of the MoSe2 layer and/or portion can be controlled to be within thickness ranges that correspond to maxima of CIGS light absorption for reflected solar light are also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 25, 2012
    Publication date: October 31, 2013
    Applicant: Guardian Industries Corp.
    Inventor: Alexey Krasnov
  • Patent number: 8569102
    Abstract: Disclosed are a high density CIS thin film and a method of manufacturing the same, which includes coating CIS nanopowders, CIGS nanopowders or CZTS nanopowders on a substrate by non-vacuum coating, followed by heat treatment with cavities between the nanopowders filled with filling elements such as copper, indium, gallium, zinc, tin, and the like. The high density CIS thin film is applied to a photo-absorption layer of a thin film solar cell, thereby providing a highly efficient thin film solar cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2013
    Assignee: Korea Institute of Energy Research
    Inventors: Se-Jin Ahn, Jae-Ho Yun, Ji-Hye Gwak, Ara Cho, Kyung-Hoon Yoon, Kee-Shik Shin, Seoung-Kyu Ahn, Ki-Bong Song
  • Patent number: 8569101
    Abstract: In a method for forming a light absorber layer (4) of a thin film solar cell, the absorber layer is formed from a plurality of sub-layers each of which is formed by preparing a plurality of mixtures containing Cu, Se, In and Ga in a liquid medium, a composition ratio of In to Ga being progressively increased from one mixture to another, the mixtures optionally including a mixture containing no In or Ga; applying a layer of one of the mixtures onto a back electrode layer (3) formed on a substrate (2); drying the applied layer of the mixture; and rapidly baking the dried layer of the mixture. By forming the absorber layer with a plurality of thin absorber sub-layers each having a controlled band gap, a solar cell having a large surface area can be fabricated at low cost and the efficiency of the solar cell can be improved by forming a favorable band gap gradient structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 29, 2013
    Assignee: Honda Motor Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Daisuke Okamura, Tadahiro Kubota, Katustoshi Nosaki
  • Publication number: 20130276885
    Abstract: Separation layers, usable in devices for converting radiation energy to electrical energy, allow at least some of the components of the devices to be separated from one another for disposal thereof. A separation layer may be interposed between and bonded to adjoining layers, and when acted upon by application of an external source, may be degraded to release the layers from one another. Once released, the layers may be disposed of more efficiently and economically, including proper disposal of hazardous waste, and recycling of materials which may be re-usable.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 23, 2012
    Publication date: October 24, 2013
    Applicant: EMPIRE TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT LLC
    Inventors: Sung-Wei Chen, Christopher J. Rothfuss
  • Publication number: 20130269778
    Abstract: A method for manufacturing a CIGS thin film photovoltaic device includes forming a back contact layer on a substrate, forming an Se-rich layer on the back contact layer, forming a precursor layer on the Se-rich layer by depositing copper, gallium and indium resulting in a first interim structure, annealing or selenizing the first interim structure, thereby forming Cu/Se, Ga/Se or CIGS compounds along the interface between the back contact layer and the precursor layer and resulting in a second interim structure, and selenizing the second interim structure, thereby converting the precursor layer into a CIGS absorber layer on the back contact layer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 13, 2012
    Publication date: October 17, 2013
    Applicant: TSMC SOLAR LTD.
    Inventors: Hsuan-Sheng YANG, Wen-Chin LEE, Li-Huan ZHU
  • Patent number: 8546172
    Abstract: Provided herein are methods of polishing, cleaning and texturing back contacts of thin-film solar cells. According to various embodiments, the methods involve irradiating sites on the back contact with laser beams to remove contaminants and/or smooth the surface of the back contact. The back contact, e.g., a molybdenum, copper, or niobium thin-film, is smoothed prior to deposition of the absorber and other thin-films of the photovoltaic stack. In certain embodiments, laser polishing of the back contact is used to enhance the diffusion barrier characteristics of the back contact layer, with all or a surface layer of the back contact becoming essentially amorphous. In certain embodiments, the adhesion of the absorber layer is enhanced by the textured back contact and by the presence of the amorphous metal at the deposition surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 1, 2013
    Assignee: Miasole
    Inventors: Dallas W. Meyer, Jason Stephen Corneille, Steven Thomas Croft, Mulugeta Zerfu Wudu, William James McColl
  • Patent number: 8531867
    Abstract: A memory element can include a memory layer formed between two electrodes; at least one element within the memory layer that is oxidizable in the presence of an electric field applied across the electrodes; and an inhibitor material incorporated into at least a portion of the memory layer that decreases an oxidation rate of the at least one element within the memory layer with respect to the memory layer alone. Methods of forming such a memory element are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 4, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 10, 2013
    Assignee: Adesto Technologies Corporation
    Inventor: Antonio R. Gallo
  • Patent number: 8501519
    Abstract: A method of production of a CIS-based thin film solar cell comprises the steps of forming an alkali control layer on a high strain point glass substrate, forming a back surface electrode layer on the alkali control layer, forming a CIS-based light absorption layer on the back surface electrode layer, and forming an n-type transparent conductive film on the CIS-based light absorption layer, wherein the alkali control layer is formed to a thickness which allows heat diffusion of the alkali metal which is contained in the high strain point glass substrate to the CIS-based light absorption layer and, furthermore, the CIS-based light absorption layer has an alkali metal added to it from the outside in addition to heat diffusion from the high strain point glass substrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 14, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 6, 2013
    Assignee: Showa Shell Sekiyu K.K.
    Inventors: Hideki Hakuma, Tetsuya Aramoto, Yoshiyuki Chiba, Yoshiaki Tanaka
  • Patent number: 8487291
    Abstract: Programmable metallization memory cells having an active electrode, an opposing inert electrode and a variable resistive element separating the active electrode from the inert electrode. The variable resistive element includes a plurality of alternating solid electrolyte layers and electrically conductive layers. The electrically conductive layers electrically couple the active electrode to the inert electrode in a programmable metallization memory cell. Methods to form the same are also disclosed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 30, 2009
    Date of Patent: July 16, 2013
    Assignee: Seagate Technology LLC
    Inventors: Nurul Amin, Insik Jin, Wei Tian, Andrew James Wirebaugh, Venugopalan Vaithyanathan, Ming Sun
  • Publication number: 20130168797
    Abstract: A thin film photovoltaic device includes a substrate and a first conductive layer coupled to the substrate. The first conductive layer includes at least one first groove extending through a first portion of the first conductive layer to a portion of the substrate. The device also includes at least one semiconductor layer coupled to a remaining portion of the first conductive layer and the portion of the substrate. The at least one semiconductor layer includes a plurality of non-overlapping vias, each via extending through a portion of the at least one semiconductor layer to a portion of the first conductive layer. The device further includes a second conductive layer coupled to a remaining portion of the at least one semiconductor layer and portions of the first conductive layer. The second conductive layer includes at least one second groove extending through a portion of the second conductive layer to a portion of the at least one semiconductor layer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 4, 2012
    Publication date: July 4, 2013
    Applicant: ESI-PyroPhotonics Lasers, Inc.
    Inventor: Matthew Rekow
  • Publication number: 20130164886
    Abstract: Methods are described for forming CIGS absorber layers in TFPV devices with graded compositions and graded band gaps. Methods are described for utilizing Al to increase the band gap at the front surface of the absorber layer. Methods are described for forming a Cu—In—Ga layer followed by partial or full selenization. This results in a higher Ga concentration at the back interface. The substrate is then exposed to an aluminum CVD precursor while the substrate is still in the selenization equipment to deposit a thin Al layer. The substrate is then exposed to a Se source to fully convert the absorber layer. This results in a higher Al concentration at the front of the absorber.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 28, 2012
    Publication date: June 27, 2013
    Applicant: Intermolecular, Inc.
    Inventors: Haifan Liang, Jeroen Van Durent
  • Patent number: 8440497
    Abstract: A Kesterite film is vacuum deposited and annealed on a substrate. Deposition is conducted at low temperature to provide good composition control and efficient use of metals. Annealing is conducted at a high temperature for a short period of time. Thermal evaporation, E-beam evaporation or sputtering in a high vacuum environment may be employed as part of a deposition process.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 14, 2013
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Supratik Guha, Kejia Wang
  • Publication number: 20130104972
    Abstract: Provided is a Se- or S-based thin film solar cell, including a substrate, a rear electrode formed on the substrate, a light absorbing layer formed on the rear electrode and containing at least one of selenium (Se) and sulfur (S), and an rear electrode top layer. The rear electrode top layer is formed between the rear electrode and the light absorbing layer, and contains a large amount of oxygen (O) to control diffusion of sodium (Na) through the rear electrode to the light absorbing layer. In this manner, it is possible to improve the electrical conductivity and interfacial adhesion of the rear electrode while stimulating diffusion of sodium (Na) to improve the efficiency of a thin film solar cell.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 1, 2012
    Publication date: May 2, 2013
    Applicant: KOREA INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
    Inventors: Jeung Hyun JEONG, Ju Heon YOON, Won Mok KIM, Young Joon BAIK, Jong Keuk PARK
  • Publication number: 20130075247
    Abstract: A method and system for forming a chalcogenide or chalcopyrite-based semiconductor material provide for the simultaneous deposition of metal precursor materials from a target and Se radials from a Se radical generation system. The Se radical generation system includes an evaporator that produces an Se vapor and a plasma chamber that uses a plasma to generate a flux of Se radicals. Multiple such deposition operations may take place in sequence, each having the deposition temperature accurately controlled. The deposited material may include a compositional concentration gradient or may be a composite material, and may be used as an absorber layer in a solar cell.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 22, 2011
    Publication date: March 28, 2013
    Applicant: TAIWAN SEMICONDUCTOR MANUFACTURING CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Wen-Chin Lee, Wen-Tsai Yen, Yung-Sheng Chiu, Ying Chen Chao
  • Publication number: 20130074933
    Abstract: A photovoltaic device includes: a back electrode; a transparent front electrode; a p-type semiconductor layer disposed between the transparent front electrode and the back electrode and made from a first semiconductor compound including M1, M2, and A1, the p-type semiconductor layer having a M1/M2 atomic ratio; and an n-type layered structure disposed between the p-type semiconductor layer and the transparent front electrode and cooperating with the p-type semiconductor layer to form a p-n junction therebetween. The n-type layered structure includes an n-type semiconductor layer made from a second semiconductor compound including M3, M4, and A2 and having a M3/M4 atomic ratio less than the M1/M2 atomic ratio and greater than 0.1 and less than 0.9.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 23, 2011
    Publication date: March 28, 2013
    Inventors: Bang-Yen CHOU, Chung-Chi JEN, Wen-Hao YUAN, Yen-Liang TU, Chiu-Kung HUANG, Jun-Shing CHIOU, Tzo-Ing LIN, Juo-Hao LI
  • Publication number: 20130048074
    Abstract: Disclosed is a method for producing a copper indium selenium (CIS) or copper indium gallium selenium (CIGS) thin-film light-absorbing layer. The method includes forming a coating layer of CIGS slurry, removing a solvent, a dispersant and a binder from the coating layer to form a powder coat layer, pressing the powder coat layer to improve its particle packing density, and heating the powder layer to form a dense thin film. The method uses a powder process as a non-vacuum process to produce a CIS or CIGS thin film in high yield at low cost. Further disclosed is a method for manufacturing a thin-film solar cell including the production method.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 14, 2012
    Publication date: February 28, 2013
    Applicant: KOREA INSITUTE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
    Inventors: So Hye CHO, Jong Ku PARK, Bong Geun SONG, Kyunghoon KIM, Hyung Ho PARK
  • Publication number: 20130048488
    Abstract: A method of making a sputtering target includes forming a sputtering target containing a relatively porous sputtering material. The sputtering material may be initially formed to be substantially free of water or treated to remove substantially all of absorbed or adsorbed water from the sputtering material. The method also includes forming a water impermeable barrier layer over the substantially water free sputtering material to completely or substantially prevent re-absorption or re-adsorption of water in the sputtering material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 29, 2011
    Publication date: February 28, 2013
    Inventor: Paul Shufflebotham