High Efficiency Thin Film Photovoltaics Through Precision Nanopatterning
Exploit recent breakthroughs in nano-molding techniques to develop a high-volume manufacturing process for fabricating high-efficiency, cost-effective thin film solar cells.
Sponsor: Liquidia Technologies, Inc.627 Davis Drive, Suite 500
P.O. Box 110085
Morrisville, NC 27709
Energy demand is expected to continue to increase for the foreseeable future—consumption is expected to more than double by 2050. Solar energy is an ideal source of power to meet these escalating demands, since it is "clean," renewable and abundant. However, capturing this energy efficiently is problematic. Thin-film, organic photovoltaic cells are considered one of the most promising approaches, because they absorb sunlight well, are light-weight, and use relatively inexpensive materials, but their current energy conversion efficiency is low. It has been shown that thin-film photovoltaic efficiencies can be boosted significantly by controlling the physical geometry of the layers in the device, with the ideal geometry requiring precise, three-dimensional patterning of photovoltaic layers at the nanoscale. Liquidia Technologies' recent breakthroughs in nano-molding techniques enable high-volume manufacturing of high-efficiency, cost-effective patterned thin film solar cells. The research effort will focus on two main objectives, increasing the efficiency of thin-film photovoltaics through nanoscale patterning and achieving volume manufacturing of these patterned films through an innovative engineering process that scales up an original patterned silicon "master" to continuous volume manufacturing. If successful, Liquidia expects the technology to simultaneously increase the efficiency of organic, thin-film solar cells and decrease production costs to the point where these photovoltaics be a viable source of affordable clean energy.