Solexel licenses thin-film solar-cell patents from IMEC

Milpitas, CA--IMEC (Leuven, Belgium) has granted Solexel a nonexclusive license on selected patents related to thin-film solar-cell technology. These licenses will help Solexel in the development and commercialization of next-generation high-efficiency thin-film photovoltaic arrays and solar modules. IMEC has an extended patent portfolio relating to solar technology, which it makes available for licensing to the photovoltaics industry.

The last five years has seen a rapid buildup of solar-cell production capacity, often based on lines that churn out moderate-efficiency standard cells at lowest cost. The economic situation has slowed that buildup, giving high-efficiency cells a chance to reach the point where they are production-ready.

Porous silicon layer
One photovoltaic technique poised to become more important in the coming years is silicon (Si) thin-film technology. The technology that Solexel is licensing from IMEC relates to a method to deposit a thin film of monocrystalline material on a substrate. To increase the efficiency of the resulting solar device, the method involves depositing a porous Si layer between the substrate and the thin film. This porous Si layer has both light-reflecting and light-diffusing properties, which helps to confine the incoming light in the thin-film layer, improving the efficiency of the cell.


 

--posted by John Wallace

Laser Focus World

 

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