The “Thin Film Laboratory” (ThiFiLab) is historically dedicated to the deposition of semiconducting materials, metals and insulators all in the form of thin films. This expertise is supported by numerous equipment dedicated to vacuum deposition of all the interesting materials used for solid state devices such as the polycrystalline semiconductor junctions.
The research has specialized in thin-film polycrystalline solar cells production thanks to the availability of increasingly human and material resources. The materials most widely studied as absorbers are CdTe and CuInSe2 (CIGS) with which, solar cells with efficiencies of 15.8% and 16.1% were respectively made.
The achievement of these results, together with the experience accumulated, has allowed the design and realization of a production line, fully automated, of large monolithic-integrated PV modules, using the polycrystalline thin films CdTe/CdS technology (Arendi SpA ).
As regards CIGS, the "ThiFiLab" is developing a process, easily automated, based on sputtering of materials and selenization of precursors. This process has also been proven on commercial ceramic tiles with excellent results (efficiency ~ 15%). The aim is to achieve low-cost photovoltaic modules directly on ceramics for use in buildings façades (Building-Integrated Photovoltaics BIPV). (The history of "ThiFiLab")