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QuantaSol Gains Tech to Boost PVs

Photonics.com
Sep 2009
QuantaSol Ltd. of Kingston-upon-Thames, England, a maker of strain-balanced quantum well solar cells, said it has entered into its first major collaboration. By exclusively licensing advanced materials growth technology from the University of Houston in Texas, the company plans to make its manufacturing process simpler and cheaper, while further improving solar cell efficiency. QuantaSol combines nanostructures – quantum wells of two or more different alloys – to obtain synthetic crystals. The crystalline structure can be tuned during manufacture to overcome the absorption problems associated with current concentrator photovoltaic (PV) cell designs. According to the company, the quantum well effect also greatly enhances PV conversion, as proved recently when its single-junction device won a world record for efficiency. The use of dilute nitrides will allow QuantaSol to reduce the number of quantum well layers it must introduce into each junction while maintaining or increasing solar efficiency. This further reduces the thickness and manufacturing cost of its production devices. QuantaSol, established in June 2007 as a spinout of Imperial College London, said it will produce highly efficient triple-junction concentrator PV devices in 2010.


GLOSSARY
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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