Flexy solar cells: Concert T-shirts in disguise

How do you make a CIGS solar cell? Silk screening.

In the solar energy world everyone is talking about CIGS, or cells made up of copper indium gallium selenide.

Solar cell

They cost less to make and are flexible, which makes it easy to incorporate into roof shingles or building materials. The sample photographed here from DayStar Technologies would shatter if it were a silicon solar cell. DayStar and others will begin commercial production of CIGS cells next year.

But the best part is how they get made: The pattern on the solar cell is made through silk screening--the same industrial process that brought you the Lynyrd Skynyrd muscle shirt.

"We can make it in a T-shirt logo if you want," joked Terry Schuyler, vice president of sales and marketing at rival CIGS manufacturer DayStar Technologies in a recent interview.

(Photo: Stephen Shankland/CNET Networks)

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