Fady Elhady1*, Mostafa Fedawy, Tarek M. Abdolkader
Researchers did their best to find an alternative supply of energy to replace fossil fuel, which is crucial for environmental requirements. One of the best candidates is solar energy, which is clean, abundant, and sustainable. To convert this energy into electricity directly, Photovoltaic (PV) solar cells are used, hence these PV solar cells attracted researchers to explore various methods of their development and the possibilities of enhancing their performance. These solar cells passed through many phases of development to achieve low cost and high efficiency starting from the first generation which uses wafer crystalline silicon passing to the second generation which is based on thin films such as amorphous Silicon (a-Si), Cadmium Telluride (CdTe), and Copper Indium Gallium diSelenide (CIGS), reaching the third generation based on perovskite materials. Second generation solar cells nowadays compete with crystalline silicon solar cells because it uses less amount of material which leads to fabrication of module with low cost resulting in higher efficiency compared to the first generation cells. This work reviews thin film solar cells regarding the aspects of development methods, structure, advantages, and disadvantages.