Solar Energy, Materials Solutions for Cells and Modules

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-FG02-08ER85085
Agency Tracking Number: N/A
Amount: $749,997.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2009
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
3006 Longhorn Blvd., #107, Austin, TX, 78758
DUNS: 013475129
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Max Roundhill
 (512) 339-5020
Business Contact
 Richard Fink
Title: Dr.
Phone: (512) 339-5020
Research Institution
Electrical contacts represent a critical element of photovoltaic technology and are problematic for silicon solar cell production. Current processes that use silver and nickel/copper top contacts are not cost effective: silver is too expensive and the use of a nickel diffusion barrier adds cost and complexity to the assembly process. Alternative metals such as aluminum and copper have thus far been unsuccessful because of their inherent chemistries. This project will develop metallic-nanoparticle-based conductive inks that can be applied through non-contact print techniques. Phase I demonstrated that a new aluminum ink that could be deposited and cured in ambient conditions. This ink provided a cured resistivity 2.3 times that of bulk aluminum. The aluminum ink provided Ohmic contacts and an enhanced BSF (back surface field) layer on silicon. Phase II will optimize the aluminum inks, refine the deposition process, and generate high efficiency solar cell prototypes. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The technology should provide an accurate, robust, reliable, and cost-effective method for increasing electrical energy efficiency in silicon solar cell production and usage. The technology would simplify the manufacturing process for solar cells and lower costs, thereby accelerating the commercialization of photovoltaic technology.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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