Crystalline Silicon on Glass

Crystalline Silicon on Glass

Crystalline Silicon on Glass (CSG) aptly describes the photovoltaic technology developed by Pacific Solar that is now being commercialised by CSG Solar. A very thin layer of silicon, less than two micrometres thick, is deposited directly onto a glass sheet whose surface has been roughened by applying a layer of tiny glass beads. The silicon is not crystalline when first deposited, but becomes so after heat treatment in an oven. The resulting layer is processed using lasers and ink-jet printing techniques to form the electrical contacts needed to get the solar-produced electricity out of the thin silicon film.

In 2002, Pacific Solar produced a small CSG module (660 cm2) having a solar conversion efficiency under standard conditions of 8.2%, which set a world record for thin-film crystalline silicon. The crystalline nature of the silicon film ensures that it will last for decades even when exposed daily to harsh sunlight.

Several scientific papers have been published that describe the CSG technology in detail. These are currently available from CSG Solar’s website.