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IP Profile: Air-stable Inorganic Nanocrystal Solar Cells Processed from Solution

Lawrence Berkeley Lab has developed solar cells based entirely on colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals.

Lead Inventor: Paul Alivisatos, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, CA, USA
Specific Market: Thin film solar cells
Technology Contact: Viviana Wolinsky, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Lawrence Berkeley Lab has developed solar cells based entirely on colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals. They are ultrathin, solution processed, and stable in ambient environments. Composed of dense nanocrystal films that mirror properties of semiconducting polymers, these cells could be a key development toward achieving stable and low cost solar energy conversion.

Berkeley Lab cites that the world solar photovoltaic market installations reached 1,460 Megawatts in 2005, representing annual growth of 34%. Forecast scenarios show worldwide industry revenues will reach $18.6 to $23.1 billion with annual PV installations between 3.2 and 3.9 Gigawatts.

Berkeley Lab informed us that Solexant has licensed this technology along with other technologies from Berkeley Lab. Solexant is a well funded start-up developing third generation thin film PV technologies which dramatically increase solar cell efficiency and reduce manufacturing costs, therefore enabling the commercialization of solar modules that generate electricity at competitive rates without depending on government subsidies.

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