Semprius hopes to negotiate a $3 million award with the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory as part of their incubator program to help new solar cell technologies move into commercial scale manufacturing.
The company who are one of 4 to be awarded funding for their novel technology has developed high performance concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) modules using their patented micro-transfer printing technology.
This patented process (summarised below) enables the parallel transfer of many pre-formed circuit elements from a source semiconductor wafer to almost any other substrate.
- Devices and circuits elements are created using standard semiconductor processes
- The circuit elements are defined and released from the source wafer using etch chemistry - no dicing needed
- A compliant transfer stamp removes only the desired elements from the source wafer
- The elements are printed onto a destination substrate
- The stamp returns to the source, increments one die over and repeats the process
- Massively parallel printing - up to 1000s of elements printed simultaneously
- High yield - greater than 99% printing yield for most semiconductors
- Low cost - low capital cost, high throughput
- High performance - printed elements maintain performance of host semiconductor
- Separates device formation and target substrate - no temperature limitations
- Wide range of semiconductors - Si, α-Si, GaAs, GaN, InP, diamond
Die picked from source wafer
Die placed on destination substrate
"Semprius will use the subcontract to develop and then demonstrate our solar technology at the pilot plant scale. This is a critical next step on our path to full-scale manufacturing," said Joe Carr, Semprius president and CEO in a recent statement.
The Laboratory will provide guidance and technical assistance to help the company overcome common challenges for small scale or pilot manufacturing.
Companies awarded under the incubator program will work closely with NREL to move prototype and pre-commercial PV technologies into pilot and full-scale manufacturing. The anticipated subcontracts, up to $3 million each, will be awarded as 18-month phased subcontracts with payment made on completion of project milestones.
For more attend Printed Electronics Europe 2010.