its strategy to leverage semiconductor and related technologies to the
photovoltaics industry, IBM has said that IBM Research is targeting 15
percent plus conversion efficiencies for CIGS solar cell modules.
Current CIGS thin-film cells achieve efficiencies in the range of 8 to
To reach its stated efficiency goals, IBM has teamed with Tokyo Ohka Kogyo (TOK), a specialist chemicals company known well for photoresist materials used in lithography processes.
“Our goal is to develop more efficient photovoltaic structures that would reduce the cost, minimize the complexity, and improve the flexibility of producing solar electric power,” said Dr. Tze-Chiang Chen, IBM Vice President of Science and Technology, IBM Research. “Now, IBM’s advanced technology combined with TOK’s expertise in equipment design and manufacture, have the potential to broaden the use of alternative energy sources.”
Yoichi Nakamura, President and Chief Executive Officer of TOK, said, “We believe that this joint development is a great opportunity to expand the applications of our technologies into the photovoltaic industry, bringing a new solid business block for us.”
The two companies are developing new, non-vacuum, solution-based manufacturing processes for CIGS that include equipment and materials.