Solar-Tectic to pursue sapphire-film-on-glass material
Thin-films specialist Solar-Tectic (ST; Briarcliff Manor, NY) says that it plans to develop a new scalable process in 2015 for making sapphire glass using a technique that was reported in Materials Letters.
|An array of silicon photovoltaic panels collects power from the sun. Solar-Tectic is developing a method to deposit crystalline coatings on inexpensive glass, which could be used as a base for thin-film crystalline solar cells. (Image courtesy of NREL)|
Thin-films specialist Solar-Tectic (ST; Briarcliff Manor, NY) says that it plans to develop a new scalable process in 2015 for making sapphire on glass using a technique that was reported in Materials Letters.1 ST has a patent pending on the process.
The new sapphire glass technique involves the deposition of a crystalline aluminum oxide (Al2O3) thin film on an inexpensive buffered glass substrate such as soda-lime glass, using a variety of common and simple deposition techniques. A textured buffer layer of magnesium oxide (MgO) is first deposited, then the layer of Al2O3, resulting in a continuous crystalline layer of sapphire on glass.
One use is as an inexpensive base for a thin film of crystalline silicon for photovoltaic solar cells. Other uses include use as substrates for displays and LED electronics, as well as a protective cover layer for smartphones and other displays.
Solar-Tectic LLC is a member of iClean, a group of companies harbored at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (SUNY Polytechnic Institute; Albany, NY).
1. Ashok Chaudhari et al., Materials Letters (2014); doi: 10.1016/j.matlet.2014.08.089