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Posted: June 30, 2010
RoseStreet Lab Scientists Announce Breakthrough Multiband Solar Cell Technology
(Nanowerk News) RoseStreet Labs Energy, Inc. (RSLE) announced a breakthrough laboratory demonstration of the first known multiband photovoltaic device featuring three distinct light absorption regions integrated into a single layer thin film device. This breakthrough is based on RSLE's IBand™ technology and is the first known intermediate band solar cell reduced to practice in a laboratory demonstration. This technology illustrates great promise for high efficiency thin film solar efficiencies above 35% by potentially capturing the full spectrum of the sun's spectrum.
Efficient solar cells require optimized utilization of the whole solar spectrum. Currently this is achieved in a complex and expensive technology in which several solar cells with different band gaps are connected in series. A much simpler approach in which a single semiconductor has several different gaps sensitive to different parts of the solar spectrum has been proposed but never realized.
The intermediate band solar cell developed by RSLE, is a thin film technology based on the discovery of highly mismatched alloys. The simple and elegant three bandgaps, one junction device has the potential of significantly improved solar light absorption and higher power output than the III-V triple junction compound semiconductor devices that presently hold the world record for solar efficiency. RSLE's demonstration device was fabricated on high volume CVD technology thereby validating the potential for high volume commercialization.
Bob Forcier, CEO, of RSLE, stated, "Although we are three to four years away from high volume production with the IBand product, this development opens up a new class of semiconductor devices for photovoltaic conversion and other advanced semiconductor applications. It fits seamlessly with our Hybrid PV commercialization."
Wladek Walukiewicz, CTO, of RSLE, announced, "This demonstration is a major breakthrough in our photovoltaic semiconductor roadmap which will allow us to go to the next step in our PV research at an accelerated pace. The IBand™ technology is synergistic with our thin film Nitride Hybrid product development and will allow upside potential for higher solar conversion efficiencies compared to conventional technologies."
RoseStreet Labs Energy, Inc. (RSLE) is a privately held firm headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. RSLE is commercializing full spectrum photovoltaic devices for high performance applications. RoseStreet Labs LLC, the parent company of RSLE, is a privately held supplier of products and services for the renewable energy, semiconductor and life science markets.