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Atmospheric deposition techniques for photovoltaics

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By Heather A.S.Platt, Senior Scientist, National Renewable Energy Laboratory; Maikel F.A.M. van Hest, Senior Scientist, National Renewable Energy Laboratory

With the never-ending need to reduce production costs, interest in atmospheric deposition techniques is steadily increasing. Even though atmospheric deposition is not new to photovoltaics, and in some cases is actually required to get the best cell performance, many of the fabrication processes for photovoltaic cells are vacuum-based. Due to the diversity in atmospheric deposition techniques available, there are opportunities for applications in thin film and patterned deposition. This paper discusses some of the deposition techniques and their applications, benefits and drawbacks.

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The ninth edition of Photovoltaics International was published in August 2010. It features Fraunhofer IISB looking at advanced process control techniques in Cell Processing, NREL gives an atmospheric thin-film deposition technique overview, and in Power Generation REC looks at reducing BOS costs with new technology and economies of scale.

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