The experimental set-up has been well received in the photovoltaic world and is now being commercialized.
Copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) solar cells have a large potential for large-scale application, as they can be manufactured inexpensively and on flexible substrates. The reliability of CIGS solar panels is an important factor, as well as price and efficiency. Knowledge of the aging mechanisms of the cells is very important.
However, CIGS solar panels have only been produced on a large scale for a few years, and knowledge of their long-term stability is limited.
Among Theelen’s discoveries are that elements such as sodium and potassium, which are added because they are essential for the high initial efficiency of the cells, can have a negative influence on their stability. Theelen, who works as a researcher at Solliance/TNO, did her PhD at TU Delft under Professor Miro Zeman from the Photovoltaic Materials and Devices section of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, in collaboration with the University of Nantes in France.