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3-D Solar Cells Made Using Semiconductor Processes

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SANTA BARBARA, Calif., March 7, 2011 — Solar3D Inc. has announced that it will use semiconductor processes to enable low-cost, mass production of its 3-D solar cell technology.

Inspired by light-management techniques used in fiber optic devices, the company’s solar cell technology uses a 3-D design to trap sunlight inside microphotovoltaic structures where photons bounce around until they are converted into electrons.

“The key to the successful low-cost fabrication of our 3-D solar cell is that we can use existing semiconductor manufacturing facilities and machines,” said Jim Nelson, CEO of Solar3D. “This is important for two reasons: The semiconductor manufacturing technology we are designing for was perfected in the 1990s. So, there will be no significant operational bugs in the machines or the processes, and the technology has only gotten better over time. Secondly, because of our ability to use existing machines and facilities, there will be little or no new need to ‘invent’ new machines or construct new facilities just to make our 3-D solar cell.”

By designing the 3-D solar cells in the correct shape and size, the company said it believes that its structures can be produced easily in widely available high-speed semiconductor manufacturing facilities.

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Mar 2011
3-D solar cellsAmericasBusinessCaliforniaelectronsenergyfiber opticsgreen photonicsindustrialJim Nelsonmicrophotovoltaicsphotonssemiconductor processsolar cellsSolar3D

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