Low-Cost Enamel Coatings on Stainless Steel Foil for Thin Film Photovoltaics

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: F29601-02-C-0081
Agency Tracking Number: 021NM-0848
Amount: $99,951.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2002
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Sommer Materials Research
640 North Main Suite G, North Salt Lake, UT, 84054
DUNS: 101426141
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jared Sommer
 (801) 631-5500
Business Contact
 Jared Sommer
Title: President
Phone: (801) 631-5500
Email: jsommer@alum.mit.edu
Research Institution
"High-efficiency photovoltaic cells fabricated from copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS) technology are important for the generation of low-cost electrical energy. Greater cost benefits could be realized if photovoltaic films could be fabricated onflexible metal foils using a roll-to-roll manufacturing process. A thin insulative layer is required to separate the CIGS film from the metal foil. This insulative coating should exhibit excellent adhesion to the metal substrate and be compatible withthe CIGS and metal substrate layer, both thermophysically and chemically. An inexpensive method of applying this coating over large areas without surface defects is also needed. Sommer Materials Research (SMR) proposes to apply thin pinhole-free enamelcoatings to stainless steel foil for CIGS solar cells. Air spraying and electrophoretic deposition will be used to obtain thin uniform coatings. The enamel coatings will exhibit excellent flexibility and be compatible with CIGS processing conditions.The electrically insulative coating will also show high bond strength, a high use temperature, and a compatible thermal expansion coefficient to the CIGS layer and metal foil. Thin enamel coatings on metals have a proven track record commercially and maybe the key for producing inexpensive high-efficiency solar cells for military, aerospace, and commercial use. The enameled foils will exhibit high flexibility and compatibility, allowing roll-

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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