Table 1 List of PV materials and defining commercial and technical attributes.

n/a, not applicable.

PV materialMaturity2013
production (GWp)
Efficiency [best module (35), highest reported cell (7)]; attributes
CdTeCommercial1.917.5%, 21.5%; thin film, sublimes congruently and enables
monolithic module manufacturing
a-Si:HCommercial0.812.3%, 13.6%; flexible modules when material is deposited onto
stainless steel substrates; efficiency decays with time
CuInGaSe2Commercial0.817.5%, 21.7%; requires stringent process control to maintain stoichiometry
of four-element material over large areas
Mono-SiCommercial13.922.9%, 25%; highest Si module efficiencies; implements technology
for extensive control of bulk and surface recombination losses; high
efficiency yields reduced area-related balance-of-systems costs
Multi-SiCommercial21.318.5%, 20.8%; market leader
Ribbon SiCommercial0Continuous instead of batch process to make the Si substrate
GaAsDemon/a24.1%, 28.8%; thin-film epitaxial layers require facile removal
from the lattice-matched, expensive substrate; radiation tolerance and
light weight are advantageous for space power applications
Multijunction (high concentration PV)Demo0.0538.9%, 46%; high efficiency; limited to high locations with high direct
normal irradiance, optimal performance requires complex dual-axis
tracking and optical focusing
Organic PVsR&Dn/a8.3%, 11.5%; readily processable, flexible cells; modest cell efficiencies;
long-term decay of efficiency;
Quantum dotsn/a, 9.9%; potential for very high efficiencies through multiple exciton
generation processes; growth of large single crystals not required
Perovskitesn/a, 20.1%; very rapid increase in demonstrated cell efficiency;
stability unproven; soluble, toxic Pb salt; material dissolves in water
Dye-sensitized solar cells n/a, 11.9%; wet chemical processing of titania substrate followed by
adsorption of dye; fabrication of cell requires sealing gel or liquid
electrolyte; small improvement in efficiency over past decade