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Materials for Thin-Film Silicon Photovoltaics

  • ID: 997105
  • Report
  • March 2009
  • 97 Pages
  • n-tech Research
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  • Air Liquide
  • Energy Conversion Devices
  • Innovalight
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Thin-film silicon brings a unique set of advantages as a material for the photovoltaics market. It is a mature technology based on one of the worlds most studied materials. Unlike any other thin-film solution, manufacturing equipment can be purchased almost off-the-shelf, so that manufacturers of thin-film silicon panels can ramp up to production levels much faster than with other materials. In addition, although the vast majority of thin-film solar cells are based on amorphous silicon (a-Si,) with limited performance characteristics, there are interesting new developments in the area of nanocrystalline silicon and silicon inks that extend both the possibilities for deposition of silicon PV on flexible substrates and the useful spectrum range of silicon solar panels.

The major goal of this report is to analyze and quantify the opportunities that are emerging for materials suppliers and device manufacturers as the result of further development of a-Si PV and new so-called Third-Generation silicon PV. The report focuses on the core absorber materials, but also covers materials for electrodes, encapsulation, dielectrics, etc.; all of which are critical to the performance of thin-film silicon PV.

The report begins with a full review of the state of the art in a-Si and other silicon-based PV materials and manufacturing. It also includes strategic profiles of leading suppliers of materials into the thin-film silicon sector. This report will be invaluable reading for strategic planners and marketing managers at materials, equipment and device firms, as well as some investor organizations.

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Executive Summary
E.1 Introduction: Innovation in Thin-Film Silicon PV
E.1.1 Current Amorphous Silicon Cells and Near-Term Innovations
E.1.2 Nanocrystalline Silicon, Silicon Nanowires, Silicon Quantum Dots and Silicon Inks
E.2 Opportunities for Materials Firms in Thin-Film Silicon PV
E.3 Opportunities for Manufacturing Firms in Thin-Film Silicon PV
E.3.1 Opportunities for Amorphous Silicon Manufacturing Firms
E.4 Key Firms to Watch in the Thin-Film Silicon Materials Business
E.4.1 Amorphous Silicon Manufacturing Firms using Established Technology
E.4.2 Start-up Companies Leveraging Next-Generation Silicon PV Technology (Silicon Inks, Si Nanoparticles, Si Quantum Dots and Si Nanowires)
E.5 Summary of Forecasts
E.5.1 Alternative Scenarios

Chapter One: Introduction
1.1 Background to This Report
1.1.1 Amorphous Silicon's Opportunity in the PV Landscape
1.1.2 Cost Sensitive Application Advantages of Thin-Film Silicon PV
1.1.3 Future Advantages of a-Si
1.2 Objectives and Scope of this Report
1.3 Methodology of this Report
1.4 Plan of this Report

Chapter Two: Materials and Technology for Thin-Film Silicon PV
2.1 Introduction: Current Position of Thin-Film Silicon PV Solutions
2.1.1 Manufacturing Lessons from the Semiconductor Industry
2.1.2 Manufacturing Lessons from the Display Industry
2.1.3 Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing Roadmap
2.1.4 Is There Still a Silicon Shortage?
2.1.5 Off-the-Shelf Equipment vs. Internally Developed Equipment
2.2 Amorphous Silicon PV Materials Roadmap
2.2.1 Trends in Cell Architectures
2.2.2 Materials Used in a-Si Cells: Current Materials and Future Innovations
2.3 Micro-Crystalline Silicon PV Materials Roadmap
2.3.1 Trends in Cell Architectures
2.3.2 Materials Used in µc-Si Cells: Current Materials and Future Innovations
2.4 Nano-Crystalline Silicon PV Materials Roadmap
2.4.1 Trends in Cell Architectures
2.4.2 Materials Used in nc-Si Cells: Current Materials and Future Innovations
2.5 Nanostructured Silicon PV Materials Roadmap
2.5.1 Nanowires
2.5.2 Si Quantum Dot-Based Devices
2.5.3 Other CVD Deposited Silicon Devices
2.6 Other Materials-Related Innovations and Developments
2.6.1 Silicon Inks
2.6.2 Silicon Film Solutions
2.6.3 Silicon Slivers
2.7 Conductors for Contacts and Reflectors
2.7.1 Transparent Conductors
2.7.2 The Role of Silver
2.8 Substrate Materials
2.8.1 Glass
2.8.2 Flexible Substrates
2.9 Key Points from this Chapter

Chapter Three: Company Profiles
3.1 Amorphous Silicon PV Manufacturers
3.1.1 Energy Conversion Devices
3.1.2 Fuji Electric Systems
3.1.3 Kaneka
3.1.4 Mitsubishi Electric
3.1.5 Sanyo
3.1.6 Sharp
3.1.7 United Solar Ovonic
3.1.8 XsunX
3.1.9 PowerFilm
3.1.10 EPV SOLAR
3.1.11 General Electric
3.1.12 RWE Schott Solar
3.1.13 Sunfilm
3.1.14 Auria Solar
3.1.15 NexPower
3.1.16 Inventux
3.1.17 ersol
3.2 Vendors of a-Si Manufacturing Equipment and Chemical Suppliers
3.2.1 Applied Materials
3.2.2 Oerlikon Solar
3.2.3 Ulvac
3.2.4 Leybold Optics
3.2.5 Tokyo Electron
3.2.6 EnergoSolar
3.2.7 Spire Global Solar
3.2.8 Dow Corning
3.2.9 Air Liquide
3.2.10 Evonik Degussa
3.2.11 Linde Group
3.2.12 DuPont
3.2.13 Voltaix
3.2.14 Praxair
3.2.15 REC Group
3.3 Companies with PV Materials Innovations
3.3.1 Innovalight
3.3.2 NanoPV
3.3.3 NanoGram
3.3.4 SunFlake
3.3.5 Solexant
3.3.6 VHF Technologies
3.3.7 Nuon Helianthos
3.3.8 Solasta
3.3.9 Solexel

Chapter Four: Eight-Year Forecasts of a-Si Materials Markets
4.1 Forecasting Methodology
4.1.1 Data Sources
4.1.2 High Growth vs. Economic Stagnation scenarios
4.1.3 Abundant vs. Scarce Fossil Fuel Scenarios
4.1.4 Effects of Subsidies
4.2 Eight-Year Forecast of Materials Used in Thin-Film Silicon PV
4.2.1 Amorphous Silicon
4.2.2 Absorber Layer
4.2.3 Substrates
4.2.4 Contact Layers
4.2.5 Nanosilicon Materials
4.2.6 Nanostructured Materials
4.2.7 Forecast Summary

Acronyms and Abbreviations Used In this Report

About the Author

List of Exhibits

Exhibit E-1 Impact on TFPV Market of Current Financial Environment
Exhibit E-2 Worldwide Market for Thin-Film Si TFPV Cells
Exhibit E-3 Worldwide Revenue from a-Si PV Materials ($ Millions)
Exhibit 2-1 Substrate Type PIN Cell
Exhibit 2-2 Superstrate Type PIN Cell
Exhibit 2-3 Phase Diagram of a-Si
Exhibit 4-1 Worldwide Market for a-Si TFPV Cells
Exhibit 4-2 Bill of Materials for a-Si TFPV (Percent)
Exhibit 4-3 Revenue from Materials ($ Millions)
Exhibit 4-4 Substrate Materials Used for a-Si TFPV
Exhibit 4-5 Top Contact by Material Type
Exhibit 4-6 Worldwide Market for Back Contact of a-Si TFPV by Material Type
Exhibit 4-7 Worldwide Market for nc-Si TFPV Cells
Exhibit 4-8 Worldwide Market for Nanostructured Si TFPV Cells
Exhibit 4-9 Worldwide Market for Thin-Film Si TFPV Cells
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- Air Liquide
- Amorphous Silicon PV Manufacturers
- Applied Materials
- Auria Solar
- Dow Corning
- DuPont
- EnergoSolar
- Energy Conversion Devices
- ersol
- Evonik Degussa
- Fuji Electric Systems
- General Electric
- Innovalight
- Inventux
- Kaneka
- Leybold Optics
- Linde Group
- Mitsubishi Electric
- NanoGram
- NanoPV
- NexPower
- Nuon Helianthos
- Oerlikon Solar
- PowerFilm
- Praxair
- REC Group
- RWE Schott Solar
- Sanyo
- Sharp
- Solasta
- Solexant
- Solexel
- Spire Global Solar
- Sunfilm
- SunFlake
- Tokyo Electron
- Ulvac
- United Solar Ovonic
- VHF Technologies
- Voltaix
- XsunX
Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown