Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Illuminex Fabricates Silicon Nanowire Array Photovoltaic Device

Abstract:
Advancements in Illuminex's patented nanowire array production process pave the way to commercial solar/photovoltaic textiles for rooftop power generation, PV textiles and other large solar power applications.

Illuminex Fabricates Silicon Nanowire Array Photovoltaic Device

Lancaster, PA | Posted on September 20th, 2010

Illuminex, a nanotechnology company developing processes to manufacture functional nanomaterials for sustainable energy applications, is applying recent advancements in its patented anodic aluminum oxide nanowire array production process to fabricate crystalline silicon nanowire (SiNW) array photovoltaic materials for commercial solar devices. Their bottom-up approach uses molecular self-assembly to manufacture aluminum catalyzed SiNW. Their process is now demonstrating photovoltaic conversion efficiencies that, when scaled macroscopically, are comparable to crystalline silicon wafer solar cells, except they use 1/100th the amount of silicon per meter of active solar cell area, thereby yielding very significant cost advantages. The technology holds strong potential to reduce the cost of solar electricity from the current value of $0.20-0.40/kWh to under $0.10/kWh, making solar competitive with other forms of electrical energy generation.

Based in Lancaster, PA and founded by MIT PhD nanomaterial scientists, Illuminex is commercializing nanowire array production processes and device applications that leverage the distinct physical properties manifested in the nanowire arrays. The company's recent advancement in manufacturing crystalline silicon uses only aluminum and glass as the precursor materials. Illuminex photovoltaic materials can potentially deliver the conversion efficiency and other properties that established crystalline silicon as the dominant material in a $30 billion photovoltaic industry, but at a much lower manufactured cost.

The potential for Illuminex to introduce disruptive functional nanomaterials to the solar cell market lies in its unique, low-cost methods to produce SiNW arrays using aluminum in a multi-functional capacity (structure, template, catalyst, dopant source, electrode isolator, and anode). Illuminex nanostructured materials can be produced at growth rates up to 10 microns/minute with minimal waste materials or process by-products. This is accomplished using a standard chemical vapor deposition (CVD) reactor and employing the Vapor-Liquid-Solid (VLS) growth method with Illuminex substrate technology in a manner that is readily scalable for mass production.

Illuminex, in collaboration with the Pennsylvania State University, recently applied its VLS and anodic aluminum processes to fabricate these breakthrough SiNW- array-based photovoltaic devices. In June, the research group demonstrated the growth of macroscopic SiNWs on low-cost substrates and the fabrication of a VLS SiNW photovoltaic device (2.5 x 2.5 mm) with an efficiency of 2.4 % and single aluminum catalyzed nanowire p-i-n photovoltaic junctions with a preliminary efficiency of 5.3 %.

According to Illuminex CEO Joe Habib, "This is comparable to the highest single nanowire junction efficiency reported to date, 3.3 % (Leiber/Harvard. Nature 2007). Our next step is to make an array over 1 cm² using aluminum on glass resulting in >5 % device efficiency. Then we move on to get that 20 % efficiency obtained using crystalline silicon wafers at a fraction of the cost using 1/100th the material."

To accelerate its photovoltaic materials and development efforts, and with financial assistance from the State of Pennsylvania, the company just completed construction of a new silicon processing laboratory that houses a high-capacity chemical vapor deposition system for SiNW growth. Illuminex has 3 laboratories in the Burle Industrial park (formerly RCA) totaling over 5500 sq. ft.

Illuminex can fabricate the silicon nanowire diodes on glass, metal, threads or virtually any surface that can be coated with a thin Al layer These materials are particularly well suited to PV panel-based solar power generation, and the Company is currently collaborating with Philadelphia University to produce a photovoltaic textile. The textile consists of threads covered with pillar-shaped silicon p-n junction diode nanowire arrays emanating about the periphery of a 200 micron diameter thread for looming into an electronic or "Smart" textile.

####

About Illuminex
Illuminex was founded in 2003 by Dr. Joe Habib, an MIT Fellow active in nanotechnology ventures for over a decade. Headquartered in Lancaster , PA , Illuminex has 10 employees. Its facilities include three fully equipped research laboratories totaling 5500 square feet, including a brand new CVD facility. Illuminex fabricates nanowires made from a wide range of materials in diverse geometries on numerous substrates. Its near-term products target energy verticals, specifically silicon nanowire arrays for photovoltaics, and copper-silicon nanocomposites for lithium ion battery anodes and copper nanowires for thermal/heat pipes. Illuminex has developed significant patented intellectual property in material formulations, manufacturing methods, and device applications. It has 11 patents pending and 1 patent issued (US 7713849). For more information, visit www.illuminex.biz

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
George Lauro
Member, Board of Directors
Founding Partner, Alteon Capital Partners

408-688-1982

Copyright © Illuminex

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

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D: Up-close, real-time, chemical-sensitive 3-D imaging offers clues for reducing cost/improving performance of catalysts for fuel-cell-powered vehicles and other applications December 8th, 2016

Exotic insulator may hold clue to key mystery of modern physics: Johns Hopkins-led research shows material living between classical and quantum worlds December 8th, 2016

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Webcast Fiscal 2016 Year End Results December 7th, 2016

Journal Nanotechnology Progress International (JONPI), newest edition out December 7th, 2016

Openings/New facilities/Groundbreaking/Expansion

New Agricultural Research Center Debuts at UCF October 12th, 2016

Nexeon Establishes Base in Asia October 11th, 2016

GLOBALFOUNDRIES to Expand Presence in China with 300mm Fab in Chongqing: Company plans new manufacturing facility and additional design capabilities to serve customers in China May 31st, 2016

Albertan Science Lab Opens in India May 7th, 2016

Govt.-Legislation/Regulation/Funding/Policy

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D: Up-close, real-time, chemical-sensitive 3-D imaging offers clues for reducing cost/improving performance of catalysts for fuel-cell-powered vehicles and other applications December 8th, 2016

Exotic insulator may hold clue to key mystery of modern physics: Johns Hopkins-led research shows material living between classical and quantum worlds December 8th, 2016

Physicists decipher electronic properties of materials in work that may change transistors December 6th, 2016

Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified: Scientists invent ground-breaking new method that puts quantum computers within reach December 5th, 2016

Self Assembly

Computers made of genetic material? HZDR researchers conduct electricity using DNA-based nanowires November 9th, 2016

First multicellular organism inspires the design of better cancer drugs September 15th, 2016

A versatile method to pattern functionalized nanowires: A team of researchers from Hokkaido University has developed a versatile method to pattern the structure of 'nanowires,' providing a new tool for the development of novel nanodevices September 9th, 2016

Location matters in the self-assembly of nanoclusters: Iowa State University scientists have developed a new formulation to explain an aspect of the self-assembly of nanoclusters on surfaces that has broad applications for nanotechnology September 8th, 2016

Announcements

Scientists track chemical and structural evolution of catalytic nanoparticles in 3-D: Up-close, real-time, chemical-sensitive 3-D imaging offers clues for reducing cost/improving performance of catalysts for fuel-cell-powered vehicles and other applications December 8th, 2016

Exotic insulator may hold clue to key mystery of modern physics: Johns Hopkins-led research shows material living between classical and quantum worlds December 8th, 2016

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals to Webcast Fiscal 2016 Year End Results December 7th, 2016

Journal Nanotechnology Progress International (JONPI), newest edition out December 7th, 2016

Energy

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Throwing new light on printed organic solar cells December 1st, 2016

Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells: Researchers combine quantum physics and photosynthesis to make discovery that could lead to highly efficient, green solar cells November 30th, 2016

Textiles/Clothing

'Back to the Future' inspires solar nanotech-powered clothing November 15th, 2016

Engineers develop new magnetic ink to print self-healing devices that heal in record time November 7th, 2016

Stretchy supercapacitors power wearable electronics August 25th, 2016

Weird, water-oozing material could help quench thirst: Nanorods' behavior first theorized 20 years ago, but not seen until now June 13th, 2016

Research partnerships

Exotic insulator may hold clue to key mystery of modern physics: Johns Hopkins-led research shows material living between classical and quantum worlds December 8th, 2016

Deep insights from surface reactions: Researchers use Stampede supercomputer to study new chemical sensing methods, desalination and bacterial energy production December 2nd, 2016

Quantum obstacle course changes material from superconductor to insulator December 1st, 2016

Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics November 28th, 2016

Solar/Photovoltaic

Research Study: MetaSOLTM Shatters Solar Panel Efficiency Forecasts with Innovative New Coating: Coating Provides 1.2 Percent Absolute Enhancement to Triple Junction Solar Cells December 2nd, 2016

Throwing new light on printed organic solar cells December 1st, 2016

Physics, photosynthesis and solar cells: Researchers combine quantum physics and photosynthesis to make discovery that could lead to highly efficient, green solar cells November 30th, 2016

'Back to the Future' inspires solar nanotech-powered clothing November 15th, 2016

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