Qcells Invests $100M in Perovskite Production: Week in Brief: 05/26/23

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SEOUL, South Korea, May 26, 2023 — Qcells, a clean energy technology company, will invest $100 million to accelerate the commercialization of perovskite-based tandem cells, a solar cell technology designed to boost panel efficiency. Qcells’ parent company, Hanwha Solutions, said it will build a pilot tandem-cell production line at its Jincheon factory in South Korea. The facility is expected to be operational by late 2024 with the aim to commercialize tandem cells by 2026. To support this target, the pilot facility in Jincheon will work closely with Qcells’ headquarters for technology and innovation in Thalheim, Germany.  

BLANTYRE, Scotland — Sivers SemiconductorsSivers Photonics business unit formed a strategic project to look at a possible new fab site within the European Union or the U.S., including strategic partnerships in the photonics space, the company said. William McLaughlin, the company’s current managing director, will join the project, and company CTO Andrew McKee, who co-founded Sivers Photonics, will assume the role of interim managing director of Sivers Photonics. Sivers said it is evaluating how to expand its capacity to meet volumes of over 1000 wafers per week.

AUSTIN, Texas — Digital thermal processing technology company PulseForge and thermal test solutions provider ERS electronic established a strategic alliance to bring a fully automated photonic debonding solution to the semiconductor industry. ERS electronic will incorporate PulseForge’s photonic debonding process, thereby expanding its existing portfolio of thermal debond machines. The integration of PulseForge’s patented process will significantly reduce the total cost of ownership for debonding customers versus traditional debonding methods, providing a clean and cost-effective debonding solution, PulseForge said.
PulseForge and ERS will develop a fully automated photonic debonding solution for the semiconductor industry. Courtesy of PulseForge.
PulseForge and ERS will develop a fully automated photonic debonding solution for the semiconductor industry. Courtesy of PulseForge.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Earth observation and geospatial technology company NUVIEW secured a contract from the U.S. Department of Defense through National Security Innovation Capital (NSIC) for $2.75 million. The partnership with NSIC will enable NUVIEW to contribute to the geospatial community by leveraging its lidar satellite constellation technology to deliver high-resolution 3D mapping and geospatial data. Earlier this month, NUVIEW emerged from stealth mode and announced its plans to build a commercial lidar satellite constellation to map the entire land surface of Earth in 3D. 

LEESBURG, Va. — Photonic-based quantum computing and solutions company Quantum Computing Inc. received a follow-on task order to its subcontract award announced Feb. 8 to support NASA in remote sensing and climate change monitoring. In addition to testing its proprietary quantum photonic system for remote sensing applications, QCI will also process satellite images by using its photonic-based reservoir computing technology. The initial testing engagement is expected to be completed during the second quarter of 2023.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — The IEEE Photonics Society launched an Industry Achievement Award, formed to recognize entrepreneurial leaders in the photonics industry for innovation, leadership, and sustained success in commercializing new systems, devices, applications, and markets. The recipient — that is, an individual or group of up to four individuals — will receive a certificate and cash honorarium, as well as public recognition for their efforts at the IEEE Photonics Conference’s Industry Day in November.

NUREMBURG, Germany — VIA Optronics received an expected notice from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) stating that the company is not in compliance with the NYSE’s continued listing requirements due to the delay in filing the company’s annual report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31, 2022. The company has six months from the original due date to file its 2022 Form 20-F with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The company may regain compliance with the NYSE listing standards at any time prior to such date by filing its 2022 Form 20-F with the SEC.  

PARIS — Lidar technology company Outsight will establish an office in Hong Kong to provide service and support for the company’s customers and partners in the Asia-Pacific region. The company hired Kim Xie, a former account executive at Ouster, to lead the initiative.

KIRTLAND AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. — The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and NASA are collaborating with eight universities for a new Mission Concept Program (MCP) from Jan. 5 to Feb. 3, 2024. The program, sponsored by AFRL’s Space Vehicles Directorate, is held under the University Nanosatellite Program (UNP), which started in 1999 and has collaborated with more than 40 universities since its inception. The program will partner with NASA’s CubeSat Launch initiative with joint efforts to alleviate typical high barriers to entry, including full satellite development, aggressive cycles or schedules, and competitive proposals, which will also prepare the participants for the next UNP nanosatellite cycle in 2024.
University Nanosat Program students present their work to reviewers from the Air Force Research Laboratory, NASA, Missile Defense Agency, and Space Dynamics Lab in Albuquerque, N.M., Aug. 15, 2021. Courtesy of Jesse Olson, U.S. Air Force.

University Nanosatellite Program students present their work to reviewers from the Air Force Research Laboratory, NASA, Missile Defense Agency, and Space Dynamics Lab in Albuquerque, N.M., Aug. 15, 2021. Courtesy of Jesse Olson/U.S. Air Force.
LEIPZIG, Germany — The German Research Foundation (DFG) approved an application from Leipzig University and Chemnitz University of Technology for a joint Collaborative Research Center/Transregio. Research will focus on the topic of hyperpolarization in molecular systems with the aim of laying the foundation for further advancements in molecular diagnostics in medicine. The DFG is providing around €13 million ($14 million) for the center for an almost four-year funding period. Funding will start Oct. 1.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. — The University of Michigan (UM) launched the $55 million Quantum Research Institute (QRI), which is designed to strengthen research collaborations among UM faculty, government, and industry partners. QRI will appoint 20 UM faculty fellows who, over the next six months, will identify and implement a strategic plan to bolster quantum research across disciplines. Steven Cundiff, the Harrison M. Randall Collegiate Professor of Physics, and Mack Kira, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science, will co-direct the institute.

Published: May 2023
The term perovskite refers to a specific crystal structure commonly found in various materials. Perovskite structures have a cubic arrangement of oxygen ions, forming a framework within which other cations (positively charged ions) are located. This crystal structure was named after the mineral perovskite, which has the chemical formula CaTiO3 and was first discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia. The general formula for the perovskite structure is ABX3, where: A represents a larger...
Photovoltaic (PV) refers to a technology that converts sunlight directly into electricity using semiconductors. The term "photovoltaic" is derived from the words "photo," meaning light, and "voltaic," referring to electricity, named after Alessandro Volta, a pioneer in the field of electricity. Key points about photovoltaic technology: Photovoltaic cells: The basic building block of photovoltaic technology is the photovoltaic cell, also known as a solar cell. These cells are made of...
Lidar, short for light detection and ranging, is a remote sensing technology that uses laser light to measure distances and generate precise, three-dimensional information about the shape and characteristics of objects and surfaces. Lidar systems typically consist of a laser scanner, a GPS receiver, and an inertial measurement unit (IMU), all integrated into a single system. Here is how lidar works: Laser emission: A laser emits laser pulses, often in the form of rapid and repetitive laser...
The term quantum refers to the fundamental unit or discrete amount of a physical quantity involved in interactions at the atomic and subatomic scales. It originates from quantum theory, a branch of physics that emerged in the early 20th century to explain phenomena observed on very small scales, where classical physics fails to provide accurate explanations. In the context of quantum theory, several key concepts are associated with the term quantum: Quantum mechanics: This is the branch of...
integrated photonics
Integrated photonics is a field of study and technology that involves the integration of optical components, such as lasers, modulators, detectors, and waveguides, on a single chip or substrate. The goal of integrated photonics is to miniaturize and consolidate optical elements in a manner similar to the integration of electronic components on a microchip in traditional integrated circuits. Key aspects of integrated photonics include: Miniaturization: Integrated photonics aims to...
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