Solar Technologies Decoded:

Crystalline Silicon (c-Si), also known as "solar grade silicon" is bulk silicon which is separated into multiple categories according to crystalline and crystal size in the resulting ingot, ribbon, or wafer.

Monocrystalline Silicon (c-Si), is often made using the Czochralski process. Single-crystal wafer cells tend to be expensive, and because they are cut from cylindrical ingots, do not completely cover a square solar cell module without a substantial waste of refined silicon. Hence most c-Si panels have uncovered gaps at the four corners of the cells.

Ribbon silicon is a type of mono-crystalline silicon; it is formed by drawing flat thin films from molten silicon and having a multi-crystalline structure. These cells have lower efficiencies than poly-Si, but save on production costs due to a great reduction in silicon waste, as this approach does not require sawing from ingots.

Poly or Multi-crystalline Silicon (poly-Si or mc-Si), is made from cast square ingots large blocks of molten silicon are carefully cooled and solidified. Poly-Si cells are less expensive to produce than single crystal silicon cells, but are less efficient. US DOE data shows that there were a higher number of multi-crystalline sales than mono-crystalline silicon sales.
Amorphous Silicon (a-Si) is the non-crystalline allotropic form of silicon. Silicon is a four-fold coordinated atom that is normally tetrahedral bonded to four neighboring silicon atoms. In crystalline silicon this tetrahedral structure is continued over a large range, forming a well-ordered lattice (crystal). In amorphous silicon this long range order is not present and the atoms form a continuous random network.

Cadmium Telluride is a solar cell based on cadmium telluride, an efficient light-absorbing material for thin-film cells. Compared to other thin-film materials, CdTe is easier to deposit and more suitable for large-scale production.

Copper-Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS), semiconductors are especially attractive for thin film solar cell application because of their high optical absorption coefficients and versatile optical and electrical characteristics which can in principle be manipulated and tuned for a specific need in a given device.

Gallium Arsenide (GaAs), is a triple-junction cell, may consist of the semiconductors: Ga As, Ge, and GaInP2. Each type of semiconductor will have a characteristic band gap energy which, loosely speaking, causes it to absorb light most efficiently at a certain color, or more precisely, to absorb electromagnetic radiation over a portion of the spectrum. The materials are carefully chosen to absorb nearly the entire solar spectrum, to make as much of the solar energy as possible. Double here to edit the text.
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