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.