The LMP’s Professor Emanuel Sachs was awarded a Future Generation Photovoltaic Devices and Processes grant from the US Department of Energy this month. The research, to be conducted in collaboration with Prof. Tonio Buonassisi, will focus on the production of thin-film, high-lifetime silicon wafers for photovoltaic cells.
This project aims to remove the need for sawing in the creation of silicon wafers, replacing it with rapid solidification to determine the wafer geometry and recrystallization to create grains. This technology would set a new standard for low-cost, high-quality photovoltaics. Proof of concept work has already been carried out, and it is projected that the technology could be commercially viable by 2015, providing a new generation of affordable solar technologies.
Twenty-four other Future Generation PV grants were awarded, including one to MIT’s Vladimir Bulovic, in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, for photovoltaic sold-state devices utilizing semiconducting colloidal nanocrystal quantum dots.