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NanoHorizons Patents Breakthrough for Solar Cells and Organic LEDs
Nanotechnology dramatically increases the efficiency with which photons
are converted to electricity, driving down manufacturing costs while increasing
efficiency. Technology licensing program announced.
STATE COLLEGE, PA, USA -- NanoHorizons, Inc., an emerging leader in applied
nanoscale materials and solutions, announced today that it has received a notice
of allowance from the US Patent Office for its innovative nanoscale photovoltaic
cell design. NanoHorizons' design enables dramatic improvements in solar cell
efficiency and breakthrough reductions in fabrication costs. Brighter, more
efficient Organic LEDs (OLEDs) are also made possible. The new technology will
be available via NanoHorizons' new Technology Licensing Program.
Breaking the Barrier to Cheap, Efficient Solar Energy: "Layered
Design" is the problem
Solar-generated electrical power using today's best photovoltaics costs 4-10
times more than conventional power generation and are only about 15% efficient.
In conventional photovoltaic cell designs, photons enter an absorption layer
producing energized electrons. These electrons travel across a portion of the
absorption layer to a collection layer where electrical energy is captured. Both
the absorption of photons producing energized electrons and the collection of
that energy occur along one line of travel, perpendicular to the layers of the
"Layered designs face an inherent paradox," explains NanoHorizons
co-inventor Dr. Ali Kaan Kalkan. "Thicker light-absorbing layers are needed
to capture sufficient light energy, but their thickness makes it difficult for
electrons to reach collection layers. Thinner layers reduce loss, but thin
layers absorb too little light. What's been needed is a new approach that allows
the light absorption path to be optimally long, while simultaneously moving
efficient collection much closer to the source of energized electrons."
NanoHorizons' innovation: A 90-degree turn and applied nanotechnology
NanoHorizons' design utilizes a single nanoscale-engineered structure to perform
both absorption and collection: An array of efficient vertically-aligned
collector "nano-spikes" (made of nanofibers, nanowires, nanotubes, or
nanoparticle chains) rise throughout a layer of light-absorptive material. By
integrating vertical nano-spike collectors into the absorption material itself,
energy collection now occurs at 90 degrees to the absorption process.
This breakthrough enables photovoltaics builders to use an optimally thick
absorption layer while dramatically shortening collection distance by as much as
1000-fold (tens of nanometers vs. tens of microns in today's best two-layer
cells) - eliminating the impact of absorption layer thickness on collection
Brighter future for photovoltaics and organic LEDs
"Solar energy development has been held up by barriers inherent in cell
design. These barriers have now been broken," said Stephen Fonash, PhD.,
founder of NanoHorizons and co-inventor of the newly patented technology.
"Our nanoscale approach can enable collection lengths as small as a few
tens of nanometers, opening the door to the use of inexpensive materials and
fabrication processes, while simultaneously enabling a truly optimized
absorption length. This technology is poised to greatly stimulate growth in the
solar energy and Organic LED sectors."
New photovoltaic devices utilizing NanoHorizons' technology can be manufactured
with lower-quality materials on high-throughput production lines that use
rollers and coating/spraying machines.
Technology Licensing Program launched
NanoHorizons also announced its Technology Licensing Program, which will include
the breakthrough photovoltaic invention. The Program will enable interested
companies to utilize selected elements of NanoHorizons' extensive intellectual
property portfolio with a range of royalty arrangements.
About NanoHorizons, Inc.
Founded in 1998, NanoHorizons focuses on nanotechnology applications in the drug
discovery, microelectronics, consumer products and health care industries and
has licensed a comprehensive portfolio of nanotechnology intellectual property
from the Penn State Research Foundation. Its research and development team
continuously produces additional real-life solutions using nanotechnology in
applied materials science.
Company website: www.nanohorizons.com.
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SOURCE: NanoHorizons Press
Release; June 8, 2005
Nicolas A. Boillot
Dennis I. Schneider
Page posted by Sterling
D. Allan June 9, 2005
Last updated July 16, 2005