This question is part of the Super Big Solar Panel FAQ from Solar Mango, where expert answers to over 100 important questions on solar panels are provided.


A Copper Indium Gallium Selenide solar cell (or CIGS cell, sometimes CI(G)S or CIS cell) is a thin film solar cell used to convert sunlight into electric power.

They are manufactured by depositing a thin layer of copper, indium, gallium and selenide on glass or plastic backing, along with electrodes on the front and back to collect current. Because the material has a high absorption coefficient and strongly absorbs sunlight, a much thinner film is required than of other semiconductor materials.

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Within the thin film solar cell sector, as of 2016, there are mainly two technologies that compete – CIGS/CIS and CdTe. While the main proponent of CdTe is the US based First Solar, the prominent company that makes CIGS cells is Japan-based Solar Frontier.

And yes, CIGS/CIS cells are commercially deployed and in over 1 GW of installations worldwide.

Source: CIGS Solar Module from Solar Mango’s Solar Dictionary

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