SOLAR-TECTIC LLC has been granted a world-wide exclusive license for a method of manufacturing single crystal silicon (cSi) thin-films on ordinary glass over a large area, thus allowing for the commercialization of single crystal silicon thin-film solar cells for the first time.
The invention came out of a Dartmouth College Sponsored Research Agreement with Solar-Tectic LLC, initially inspired by a related technology disclosed by the late Dr. Praveen Chaudhari, renowned materials scientist and winner of the National Medal of Technology.
Dartmouth researchers at the Thayer School of Engineering invented this break-through technology, which allows single-crystal thin-films (composed of Si, Ge, GaAs, CdTe, CIGS, etc) to be monolithically fabricated on large-area amorphous substrates such as ordinary glass and at a cost that is orders of magnitude lower than the price of manufacturing crystalline silicon solar cells (or c-Si).
The new technology is monolithic since it does not “glue” the single crystal layer to the substrate via complicated bonding techniques and intricate control. Compared to existing thin-film solar cell materials, this invention can increase efficiency by ~2x due to a significant improvement in material quality.
Solar-Tectic LLC is currently seeking to sub-license this technology and an evaluation license is also being offered.
A patent application for this invention has been filed by Dartmouth College with the United States Patent Office