The ultimate goal for a solar panel is to reach grid parity. In order to achieve this goal all the players in thesolar PV value chain have to do their part to lower the total system cost. The common view is that solar cell manufacturers play a critical role in achieving this goal. All the cost savings, design changes and performance improvements that a solar cell manufacturer can achieve has a multiplying effect across the value chain. This is a true statement, but the key enabling factors for all these improvements are advanced manufacturing and assembly materials.
One such example is a CIG Target for manufacturing of CIGS solar cells. Sputtering as we all know is a high throughput and high precision process. But this process requires the availability of high quality CIG target. A CIG target not only needs to be dimensionally accurate and highly dense but also needs to have homogeneous composition and grain sizes throughout. Moreover, adding to this complexity all the phases need to be tightly controlled inorder to obtain uniform sputtering. Innovations in hybrid consolidation processes have enabled high volume production of CIG sputtering targets bringing CIGS solarcells close to commercialization.