Doe-Golden Awards Eikos Grant To Conduct R&D On Invisicon® Coatings For Pv Devices
FRANKLIN, MA (June 1, 2008) - U.S. Department of Energy, Golden Field office, awards Eikos Inc multiyear grant to conduct R&D on Invisicon® coatings for photovoltaic devices. The project is a continuation on work started in mid 2005 and resulted in numerous awards, breakthroughs, and the company’s first foray into solar energy technology.
The project consists of conducting research and development to demonstrate that transparent conductive coatings (TCC) based on nanofibers (NF), including carbon nanotubes (CNT), can perform at an electrical Resistivity and optical Transparency (RT) suitable for use in solar cells and as electrical conductors. Today’s solar cells are fabricated using metal oxide based TCC or metals with RT performance exceeding that currently possible with CNT based TCCs. The motivation for replacing current TCC is their inherent brittleness, high deposition cost, and high deposition temperatures; leading to reduced performance on thin substrates. Alternatively, this project will overcome these shortcomings while offering the ability to be applied in atmospheric conditions using low cost coating processes.
Since initiation of this project a few years ago, Eikos has made significant progress in developing these materials through a close collaboration with the Nartion Renewable Energy Laboratory (a.k.a. NREL). To date, early versions of this TCC technology have been used to fabricate award winning laboratory scale solar cells, and have yielded several groundbreaking peer reviewed papers. Early proof-of-concept solar cells served to demonstrate the advantages and weaknesses of using NFs in a wide variety of solar cell types and in entirely new cell structures. Eikos will continue to conduct research on the purification, dispersion, formulation, and coating of the NF TCC. We will continue working with NREL, to build a variety of prototypes using the coatings developed at Eikos, and measure their performance. NREL also will provide consultation on the direction, specification, and utility of the resulting TCC materials.