Solar-Tectic LLC (New York), in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and Blue Wave Semiconductors (BWS), Inc. reports the successful demonstration of the first ever metal-induced single crystal epitaxial thin film solar cell. The prototype solar cell is based on technology disclosed by the late Dr. Praveen Chaudhari, materials scientist and winner of the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation (1995). The technology consists of unique methods of growing single crystal or large grained semiconductor films on inexpensive substrates such as soda-lime glass or metal tapes. Fabrication of the prototype solar cell this past month at NREL, which is composed of film silicon on sapphire (Al203), is an important piece of the overall technology owned by Solar-Tectic LLC. The samples used for making the solar cells were fabricated by BWS in their Maryland office outside of Baltimore, under the directorship of Dr. RD Vispute. In February BWS achieved the crucial step of fabricating a metal-induced epitaxial layer on sapphire (Al-Si on Al203). This step, part of Solar-Tectic’s “1c-Si Eutectic” technology which is patent pending at the United States Patent Office, is crucial to achieving the ultimate goal for this technology: deposition of single crystal film semiconductors (for example, silicon) on soda-lime glass or metal tapes, and is a breakthrough for the solar cell industry as well as the display industry. In order for this to be achieved, the film had to be initially deposited below the softening temperature of glass, or ~600°C. Using a unique eutectic deposition method, a thin film of crystalline silicon was successfully deposited on a sapphire substrate at this temperature. Under the supervision of Dr. Chaz Teplin, NREL then successfully grew silicon layers on the samples at 750C using their patented HWCVD technique and fabricated working solar cells.
Solar-Tectic LLC now plans to deposit silicon layers at 600°C, for compatibility with ordinary soda-lime glass, and fabricate additional prototype solar cells.
Solar-Tectic LLC is currently developing other technology with Dartmouth College and
4JET Technologies GmbH.
For more information, please contact:
416 Long Hill RD E
Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510