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Posted: September 23, 2009
Natcore Initiates Sponsored Research Program to Explore Quantum-Dot Tandem Solar Cells
(Nanowerk News) Natcore Technology Inc. ("Natcore" or the "Company") reports that it has signed a Sponsored Research Agreement with Rice University to develop thin films incorporating silicon quantum dots.
These quantum dots are an important step in the development of tandem solar cells that could double the power output of current silicon solar cell technology.
The Sponsored Research Agreement will be directed by Professor Andrew R. Barron as Principal Investigator and employ the resources of the Barron Research Group at Rice. The initial term and estimated funding of the Agreement is one year and US$100,000; both the term and the funding can be extended under mutual agreement.
Dr. Barron is a co-founder of and technical consultant to Natcore Technology Inc. Currently the Charles W. Duncan, Jr.-Welch Endowed Chair of Chemistry and Professor of Materials Science at Rice University, Dr. Barron is the author of numerous publications in the area of materials preparation via chemical pathways. The author of over 350 peer-reviewed scientific papers, with nearly 80 focusing on developments in nanotechnology, Professor Barron was also the first faculty member hired for what is now called the Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, the first such institute in the world.
Natcore Technology has licensed proprietary and patent pending technology from Rice University that enables room-temperature growth of various silicon oxides on silicon wafers from a chemical bath in a liquid phase deposition (LPD) process. In addition, Natcore controls certain proprietary and patent pending technologies associated with solar cell structures potentially enabling the development of "super-efficient" tandem solar cells.
Thin films containing quantum dots would be an important component of these tandem solar cells, which would have the potential to double the power output of conventional silicon solar cells. The goal of the Company's research program with Rice will be to determine the methods for growth of quantum dot thin film structures using the LPD process.
The research program will begin immediately.
"We are very excited to enter this next stage of our company's growth," said Charles Provini, President and CEO of Natcore. "We are continuing to advance the foundational portion of our business plan, which focuses on significantly lowering the costs of silicon solar cell manufacturing using our LPD process. But there is no denying that the potential to dramatically increase solar cell efficiencies remains one of the most exciting and potentially compelling applications of our technology."
In other news, the Company reports that it has closed a final tranche of 20,000 units of the non-brokered private placement announced on June 29, 2009 and September 1, 2009. An aggregate of 2,932,500 units at a price of $0.40 per unit were sold for aggregate gross proceeds of $1,173,000. The units issued in this final tranche are subject to a four month hold period expiring January 16, 2010.
About Natcore Technology Inc.
Natcore Technology is the exclusive licensee, from Rice University, of a thin-film growth technology enabling room-temperature growth of various silicon oxides on silicon wafers in a liquid phase deposition (LPD) process. Although the implications of this discovery for semiconductors and fiber optics are significant and wide-ranging, the technology has immediate and compelling applications in the solar sector. Specifically, the Company's LPD process could enable silicon solar cell manufacturers to significantly reduce manufacturing costs and increase throughput, and has the potential to allow, for the first time, mass manufacturing of super-efficient (30%+) tandem solar cells with double the power output of today's most efficient devices.
Having been independently tested and verified by one of the world's most respected science and technology laboratories, Natcore's technology is now in the process of being commercialized. Our goal: to make stand-alone solar energy competitive with conventional power generation.