Manchester, N.H. – J. P. Sercel Associates (JPSA) is partnering with SunShot Initiative F-PACE awardee University of Delaware (UD), along with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on a $3.8 million project to lower the cost of crystalline silicon solar cells.
The US Department of Energy’s (DOE) SunShot Initiative program sponsors the F-PACE award with a goal of lowering the cost of these solar cells to $0.50/Wp module cost. Under the initiative, UD received more than $9.1 million from five separate awards, the highest funding total awarded for research and development to a university.
The JPSA, UD and MIT team will use a new device design patented by UD that incorporates silicon structures deposited at low temperature with the goal of reducing the cost of crystalline solar cells by reducing both the amount of materials used as well as manufacturing costs. This project will utilize both JPSA’s broad expertise in UV-VIS-NIR nanosecond and picosecond lasers to pattern and form the contacts on the back of the solar cell, and MIT’s unique characterization and passivation tools for understanding and mitigating defects in silicon. Four U.S companies will provide thin silicon wafers for evaluation of the new solar cell design architecture.
"This is an exciting moment for the applications team at JPSA as we work together with Dr. Steve Hegedus, scientist at UD’s Institute of Energy Conversion, and Prof. Tonio Buonassisi at MIT, to develop this new solar cell architecture that will help lower manufacturing costs and increase the efficiency of crystalline silicon solar cells," said Dr. Marco Mendes, director of JPSA’s Applications Lab.
JPSA's products and services include UV excimer, DPSS and ultra-fast laser micromachining systems, laser beam delivery systems, laser materials processing development, optical damage testing, and excimer laser refurbishment services. JPSA operates a high-performance contract manufacturing facility as well as a systems engineering and manufacturing business.