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When I was looking at photovoltaic solar cell production I saw that there was some difficulty with rare earth minerals used in the production but i can't find which rare earth minerals. I have tried to look around the web but i can't find anything specific.

What kind of rare earth minerals are used in solar cell productions?

Source: http://www.c2es.org/technology/factsheet/solar (MId way down the page)

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Rare earth elements aren't really used much in PV at all. The market is dominated by silicon cells (~95% of the market). The next big player is Cadmium Telluride (~5% of the market). The rest are pretty insignificant.

Also, note that rare-earth elements are (with the exception of Promethium) not particularly rare.

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The major one is Indium. Indium Tin Oxide is used as a transparent conductive electrode used to coat the top of the cell. Indium production is a potential bottleneck when it comes to expansion of the PV manufacturing industry and currently costs around $700/kg. Less than 1000 tonnes per year is produced. However, it looks like it may well be replaced with carbon in the form of Graphene.

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  • $\begingroup$ Indium isn't a rare earth element though, is it? $\endgroup$ – 410 gone Nov 26 '14 at 11:53
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe the OP is confused with the possible shortage of Neodymium used in wind turbine generators $\endgroup$ – user56903 Nov 26 '14 at 12:10

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