Solar Frontier has broken the record for CIS thin-film solar cell conversion efficiency using a sputtering and selenization process. The current CIS efficiency record at 20.3% was set with the co-evaporation processes.

The record conversion efficiency figure of 18.6%, verified by Japan’s Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), had stood for 10-years.  However in a joint collaboration with Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Solar Frontier has pushed the record to 19.7%, using solar cells measuring approx. 0.5 cm2, cut from a 30cm x 30cm substrate.

Satoru Kuriyagawa, Chief Technology Officer, Solar Frontier said, “This new achievement in energy conversion efficiency indicates the high level of Solar Frontier’s technology and the high potential of CIS technology. The CIS thin-film modules currently available from Solar Frontier have gained a reputation for high performance in actual power generation, as they are not easily affected by shadows or high temperatures. Now, even higher real-world performance can be expected by applying this new basic technology. We will continue working to further enhance our technological capabilities with the aim of setting a world record for thin-film solar cells overall.”

Solar Frontier is currently producing CIS thin-film solar modules at Kunitomi, Japan plant with conversion efficiencies in the 13% range. The company did not say if and when the developed processes would enter production.