Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Sunny days ahead

Natcore Technology, which is using Rice-born research to revolutionize the manufacture of solar panels, signed a deal with the university last week to provide $100,000 to help the lab of Rice professor Andrew Barron advance the technology. At the signing were, from left, Charles Provini, Natcore's president and CEO; Sarah White, director of Rice's Office of Sponsored Research; and Barron, the Charles W. Duncan Jr.-Welch Professor of Chemistry and professor of materials science.
Natcore Technology, which is using Rice-born research to revolutionize the manufacture of solar panels, signed a deal with the university last week to provide $100,000 to help the lab of Rice professor Andrew Barron advance the technology. At the signing were, from left, Charles Provini, Natcore's president and CEO; Sarah White, director of Rice's Office of Sponsored Research; and Barron, the Charles W. Duncan Jr.-Welch Professor of Chemistry and professor of materials science.

Abstract:
Rice-born company to ease solar-panel manufacturing goes public, gives back

Sunny days ahead

Houston, TX | Posted on September 23rd, 2009

The first publicly traded company to spring from Rice University technology is now taking stock in some of the best brains at Rice.

Natcore Technology, a New Jersey firm that specializes in advancing the science of solar energy, has signed an agreement to fund research by the Rice lab of Andrew Barron to the tune of $100,000.

Earlier this year, Natcore became the first Rice spinoff to go public when it was listed (as NXT.V) on the Canadian Stock Exchange. At publication time, shares were hovering at around 40 cents a share.

"Rice has licensed to public companies before, but this is the first Rice spinoff to go public," said Barron, the university's Charles W. Duncan Jr.-Welch Professor of Chemistry and professor of materials science, who co-founded the company and remains a technical consultant.

"Other universities have been doing this kind of thing for years, but we never have," he said.

"It's an exciting step forward every time we get a product in the marketplace that we can attribute to Rice," said Nila Bhakuni, director of Rice's Office of Technology Transfer, who said Natcore's "tremendous combination of money, savvy and talent" will raise the university's research profile and the potential for revenue.

"It reflects well on Rice and on the work by our brilliant researchers and enhances our Vision for the Second Century," she said. "Certainly Dr. Barron has a very impressive track record and a long history of entrepreneurship. He's amazingly creative in his research activities."

The company is based on technology invented by Barron's lab and licensed from Rice called liquid phase deposition (LPD). The process deposits thin films of silicon dioxide and mixed silicon oxides onto solar panels and other products. Before LPD, putting critical antireflective coatings on solar cells involved huge vacuum furnaces operating at 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Barron's technology makes the process easier and cheaper by coating the cells' silicon wafers with a mild chemical bath at room temperature.

The high temperatures involved in making solar cells have required silicon panels thick enough to withstand the heat without warping. Eliminating the furnace means the silicon in solar cells can be as much as 60 percent thinner.

Natcore claims LPD will make the mass manufacture of tandem solar cells possible. Such cells have the potential to double the power output of today's most efficient panels, the best of which now convert only about 20 percent of sunlight captured into electricity. The company expects to apply the technology in semiconductor and fiber optic applications as well.

Barron said the new research funding will help his lab advance the technology even further, increasing its efficiency while making the manufacture of solar cells more environmentally friendly. He also sees potential for LPD to be used in the manufacture of other materials, from sophisticated contact lenses to windows that serve double duty as transparent solar panels.

The company itself won't make solar cells but rather equipment to add to manufacturers' production lines. President and CEO Charles Provini is convinced manufacturers will quickly see the light when Natcore's process allows them to shut down their furnaces and recycle chemicals, greatly reducing waste.

"We don't think we have any competition," said Provini, adding that a current glut in the supply of solar panels could present an opportunity for Barron's technology. "Since solar panels are becoming more of a commodity, manufacturers are concerned about their profit margins. Our process can reduce their overall costs and increase their margins."

####

About Rice University
Rice has from its inception been dedicated to three missions: educating and preparing outstanding students for diverse careers and lives; contributing to the advancement of knowledge across a wide range of fields; and being of service to our city, our state, our nation, and our world. The Call to Conversation posed the question whether our current mission statement fully encompassed our ambitions, particularly our commitment as a research university to creating new knowledge and our obligation to train future leaders across a range of endeavors. It states: “The mission of Rice University, shaped largely by its founder and the first president, is to provide an unsurpassed undergraduate education in science, engineering, the arts, humanities, and social sciences; to produce internationally distinguished scholarship and research and excellent graduate education in carefully focused areas; to ensure that such an education remains affordable; to maintain the distinctive character of a community of learning that is relatively small in scale; and to serve the continuing educational needs of the larger community.”

For more information, please click here

Copyright © Rice University

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Assembly of nanoparticles proceeds like a zipper: Viruses and nanoparticles can be assembled into processable superlattice wires according to scientists from Aalto University Finland September 25th, 2017

Enhancing the sensing capabilities of diamonds with quantum properties: A simple method can give diamonds the special properties needed for quantum applications such as sensing magnetic fields September 24th, 2017

Quantum twisted Loong confirms the physical reality of wavefunctions September 23rd, 2017

Application of air-sensitive semiconductors in nanoelectronics: 2-D semiconductor gallium selenide in encapsulated nanoelectronic devices September 22nd, 2017

Laboratories

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

New insights into nanocrystal growth in liquid: Understanding process that creates complex crystals important for energy applications September 14th, 2017

Ames Laboratory scientists move graphene closer to transistor applications August 30th, 2017

Thin films

Rice University chemists make laser-induced graphene from wood July 31st, 2017

Graduate Students from Across the Country Attend Hands-on NanoCamp: Prominent scientists Warren Oliver, Ph.D., and George Pharr, Ph.D., presented a weeklong NanoCamp for hand-picked graduate students across the United States July 26th, 2017

Studying Argon Gas Trapped in Two-Dimensional Array of Tiny "Cages": Understanding how individual atoms enter and exit the nanoporous frameworks could help scientists design new materials for gas separation and nuclear waste remediation July 17th, 2017

Thinking thin brings new layering and thermal abilities to the semiconductor industry: In a breakthrough for the semiconductor industry, researchers demonstrate a new layer transfer technique called "controlled spalling" that creates many thin layers from a single gallium nitride July 11th, 2017

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Quantum twisted Loong confirms the physical reality of wavefunctions September 23rd, 2017

DNA triggers shape-shifting in hydrogels, opening a new way to make 'soft robots' September 21st, 2017

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

Academic/Education

Two Scientists Receive Grants to Develop New Materials: Chad Mirkin and Monica Olvera de la Cruz recognized by Sherman Fairchild Foundation August 16th, 2017

Moving at the Speed of Light: University of Arizona selected for high-impact, industrial demonstration of new integrated photonic cryogenic datalink for focal plane arrays: Program is major milestone for AIM Photonics August 10th, 2017

Graduate Students from Across the Country Attend Hands-on NanoCamp: Prominent scientists Warren Oliver, Ph.D., and George Pharr, Ph.D., presented a weeklong NanoCamp for hand-picked graduate students across the United States July 26th, 2017

The Physics Department of Imperial College, London, uses the Quorum Q150T to deposit metals and ITO to make plasmonic sensors and electric contact pads July 13th, 2017

Investments/IPO's/Splits

Arrowhead Hosts Investor & Analyst R&D Day to Introduce TRiM(TM) Platform and Lead RNAi-based Drug Candidates September 14th, 2017

Nanometrics Announces Upcoming Investor Events August 3rd, 2017

Nanometrics to Participate in the 9th Annual CEO Investor Summit 2017: Accredited investor and publishing research analyst event held concurrently with SEMICON West and Intersolar 2017 in San Francisco June 27th, 2017

180 Degree Capital Corp. Announces the Start of Kevin Rendino as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Completion of its Transition to a Registered Closed-End Fund March 31st, 2017

Announcements

Assembly of nanoparticles proceeds like a zipper: Viruses and nanoparticles can be assembled into processable superlattice wires according to scientists from Aalto University Finland September 25th, 2017

Enhancing the sensing capabilities of diamonds with quantum properties: A simple method can give diamonds the special properties needed for quantum applications such as sensing magnetic fields September 24th, 2017

Quantum twisted Loong confirms the physical reality of wavefunctions September 23rd, 2017

Application of air-sensitive semiconductors in nanoelectronics: 2-D semiconductor gallium selenide in encapsulated nanoelectronic devices September 22nd, 2017

Alliances/Trade associations/Partnerships/Distributorships

GLOBALFOUNDRIES and Soitec Enter Into Long-term Supply Agreement on FD-SOI Wafers: Strategic milestone to help guarantee a secure, high-volume supply of FD-SOI technology September 20th, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Unveils Vision and Roadmap for Next-Generation 5G Applications: Technology platforms are uniquely positioned to enable a new era of ‘connected intelligence’ with the transition to 5G September 20th, 2017

Leti and Partners in PiezoMAT Project Develop New Fingerprint Technology for Highly Reliable Security and ID Applications: Ultra-high Resolution Pressure Sensing Uses Matrices of Vertical Piezoelectric Nanowire To Reconstruct the Smallest Features of Human Fingerprints September 5th, 2017

Phenom-World selects Deben to supply a tensile stage as an accessory to their range of desktop SEMs August 29th, 2017

Solar/Photovoltaic

Researchers set time limit for ultrafast perovskite solar cells September 22nd, 2017

Copper catalyst yields high efficiency CO2-to-fuels conversion: Berkeley Lab scientists discover critical role of nanoparticle transformation September 20th, 2017

Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene: Berkeley Lab advance is first demonstration of efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis September 19th, 2017

Hydrogen power moves a step closer: Physicists are developing methods of creating renewable fuel from water using quantum technology September 15th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project