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Energizer Selects Ascent Solar to Provide Solar Panels for Donated Energizer Lanterns
CompoundSemi News Staff

June 24, 2013...Energizer, the battery and flashlight company, chose Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc. to provide solar panels for its Energizer lanterns donated to the global non-profit One Million Lights. Energizer reportedly chose the company's copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) solar cells because of their flexibility, ruggedness, and light weight.

One Million Lights hopes to improve the daily lives of children and adults by providing clean and healthy solar lighting through its international distribution programs. Energizer began working with One Million Lights in 2011, launching a series 30 running events known as Energizer Night Race for a Brighter World in 20 countries and donating 11 million hours of solar lighting. Participants raced at night by the light of an Energizer headlight to raise awareness for the global need for safe, affordable lighting. Energizer donated an additional 12 million hours of solar light in 2012 through its support of One Million Lights. The company will donate 13 million hours of solar lighting this year. The Energizer and Ascent Solar lighting systems will begin being distributed to families in the summer of 2013.

"Many families living without electricity spend up to half of their income on kerosene lighting, which provides inadequate illumination, is hazardous to a family's health and poor for the environment," said Anna Sidana, founder of One Million Lights. "The solar lights provided by Energizer and Ascent will not only help families save money but allow them to work, study and play a little longer each day, helping to increase their overall quality of life."

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NTNU Researchers Grow GaAs Nanowires on Graphene and Form Spin-off, CrayoNano
CompoundSemi News Staff

September 17, 2012...Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) have successfully grown GaAs nanowires on graphene. The technology underpinning their approach was recently described in a publication of Nano Letters. The patented method of growing semiconductor nanowires on atomically thin graphene uses MBE (molecular beam epitaxy) to grow the nanowires. The nanowires are reportedly grown under gallium droplets (self catalyzed), thereby avoiding foreign elements in processing or operation.

The group fabricated photodetectors with high responsivity from single GaAs nanowires grown on graphitic substrates. Spin-off company, CrayoNano asserts that semiconductor nanowires epitaxially grown on graphene can function both as a transparent electrode as well as an epitaxial “substrate-free” growth template for the active semiconductor material.

"We do not see this as a new product," says Professor Helge Weman, a professor at NTNU's Department of Electronics and Telecommunications, and CTO and co-founder of the company created to commercialize the research. "This is a template for a new production method for semiconductor devices. We expect solar cells and light emitting diodes to be first in line when future applications are planned."

Weman envisions the technology may lead to flexible self-powered consumer electronics such cell phones, tablets, exercise accessories and notepads. The project patented the technology through NTNU Technology Transfer. The development comes from the NTNU NanoLab, MBE Lab and Nano-Photonics Laboratory.

Berkeley Researchers Improve Solar Cell Efficiency By Making it Emit More Light
CompoundSemi News Staff

April 23, 2012...Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, have suggested that solar cells should be more like LEDs. The researchers claim to have demonstrated that solar cells should be designed to emit light as well as absorb it to maximize efficiency. The research team from Bereley will present its findings at the Conference on Lasers and Electro Optics (CLEO: 2012), to be held May 6-11 in San Jose, Calif.

“What we demonstrated is that the better a solar cell is at emitting photons, the higher its voltage and the greater the efficiency it can produce,” says Eli Yablonovitch, principal researcher and UC Berkeley electrical engineering professor.

The researchers came across a thermodynamic link between absorption and emission of light. “If you have a solar cell that is a good emitter of light, it also makes it produce a higher voltage,” which in turn increases the amount of electrical energy that can be harvested from the cell for each unit of sunlight, graduate student Owen Miller asserted.

In 2011, Alta Devices of the Bay Area, which Yablonovitch co-founded, created a GaAs-based prototype solar cell that achieved a record 28.3 percent efficiency in part by allowing more light to escape. They increased the reflectivity of the rear mirror, which sends incoming photons back out through the front of the device. Yablonovitch says he hopes researchers will be able to use this technique to achieve efficiencies close to 30 percent in the coming years for single junction cells and help improve all solar cells.

Veeco Gives Up on CIGS Business
CompoundSemi News Staff

August 8, 2011...After operating at a loss, and suffering slower than expected adoption in the solar industry, Veeco has chosen to exit the copper indium gallium diselenide solar business. Despite this, much of the company's financial news was good. Overall, the company reported a 4 percent increase in revenues for Q2 2011 sequentially to $265 million. The revenues for Q2 of 2011 were 20 percent higher than the Q2 of 2010.

John R. Peeler, Veeco CEO stated, "We have seen spectacular customer reaction to our new MaxBright MOCVD system - in the second quarter we booked over $100 million of MaxBright systems - 40% of our total MOCVD bookings. We believe customers are clearly recognizing that MaxBright is simply the best tool on the market to drive down LED manufacturing costs."

Mr. Peeler commented, "Veeco has decided to exit the CIGS Solar Systems business for various reasons, including the improved performance of mainstream solar technologies and the lower than expected end market acceptance for CIGS technology to date. While CIGS remains an important thin film solar technology, we have determined that the timeframe and cost to successful commercialization are not acceptable to Veeco." Mr. Peeler added, "Veeco intends to transfer our R&D facility, pilot line, technology and key personnel in Clifton Park, New York to the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) in order to support their planned CNSE/SEMATECH Photovoltaic Manufacturing Consortium (PVMC). " Veeco's third quarter 2011 revenue is currently forecasted to be between $235 and $285 million.

LDK Solar Expands into Sapphire Wafer Business for LED Makers
CompoundSemi News Staff

April 12, 2011...LDK Solar Co., Ltd. of Xinyu City, China, a producer of multicrystalline solar wafers and PV products, announced a business investment of approximately $40 million to establish a new manufacturing plant in Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province. This new manufacturing facility will have capacity to supply two million two-inch equivalent pieces of sapphire wafers per year. The company plans to supply sapphire wafers for the LED industry.

"We are very pleased to expand our wafer manufacturing to Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province," stated Xiaofeng Peng, Chairman and CEO of LDK Solar.

"We believe this new investment in manufacturing sapphire wafers has a great synergy with LDK Solar's crystallization and wafer engineering and manufacturing expertise, and will enhance LDK Solar's product offerings," He said. "We also would like to express our sincere appreciation to Nanchang City and Jiangxi Province for the support they have shown us during the planning and construction of our wafer and module plants over the past two years."

BluGlass Investigates InGaN Solar Cells; Signs Sales and Marketing Agreement with BLK of Korea
CompoundSemi News Staff

May 11, 2009...BluGlass revealed that BLK of Korea has signed an exclusive sales and marketing agreement for the company's RPCVD technology for the next two years. Under the terms of the agreement, BLK will acquire a BLG-150 deposition tool to produce LEDs and establish its RPCVD plant in Gwanju Technology Park. BluGlass News Release.

BluGlass also reports that it is expanding its research into its Remote Plasma Chemical Vapor Deposition (RPCVD) for the production of indium gallium nitride (InGaN) solar cells. BluGlass points out that solar cells made from InGaN can potentially convert almost the entire spectrum of sunlight including infrared, visible, and ultraviolet radiation. The company says that furthermore, the InGaN cells have the potential to be the most efficient solar cells ever produced, to last a long time, and to be relatively inexpensive. BluGlass cites the material's wide bandgap tunability as the reason the material has the theoretical potential of reaching 50 percent efficiency. "While solar applications are a natural progression for BluGlass, RPCVD technology is well suited to these alternative applications, our LED business still remains our primary business, and we look forward to updating you on progress soon," said company CEO Giles Bourne. BluGlass News Release

Sunovia Adds Infrared Division
CompoundSemi News Staff

March 12, 2008...Sunovia Energy Technologies, Inc. of Sarasota, Florida USA, reports that it has established a new infrared materials and systems integration division for advanced cadmium telluride (CdTe) and mercury cadmium telluride (HgCdTe) infrared imaging and sensor products. The new infrared materials division adds to the company’s LED division and LED fixture division. The company capitalizes on the common materials used in both solar cells and in its infrared technologies, highly efficient cadmium telluride (CdTe) and mercury cadmium telluride (HgCdTe). Sunovia says that it is working with top scientists and experts in the manufacturing processes for these materials in an effort to accelerate the deployment of infrared technologies and advance their next-generation solar cell program simultaneously.

Sunovia said it will first deliver CdTe on silicon for use in infrared sensors for military and commercial markets. The company said it will simultaneously develop CdTe-based solar cells for space and military markets. As manufacturing costs go down (as a result of the company research, then, Sunovia plans to target the commercial, utility and residential markets. Additionally, the company's solid-state lighting division has developed a proprietary product line called EvoLucia, a high-efficiency light emitting diode (LED) light engine and fixture line that boasts of 20 percent lower energy consumption than standard incandescent lights. The company says it will be able to produce an LED with as much efficiency as GaN, but at a lower price. Company News Release

Intematix Hires Materials Expert to Help Broaden Range of Products
CompoundSemi News Staff

June 21, 2007...LED phosphor expert, Intematix, has named Chis Bajorek, a veteran materials expert, to be vice president of advanced development. In a move into new fields the company has hired Christopher Bajorek, Ph.D., to develop new materials for markets including solar, fuel cell, and battery technologies. Bajorek brings experience from his executive roles at IBM’s storage systems division, and he brings expertise from his work in product development with thin film disk innovator, Komag. Intematix says that he will help round out the company’s newly expanded leadership team.

“Chris has a tremendous record of leading a development team by applying a focused innovation and disciplined approach,” said Larsson. “His many accomplishments and unique understanding of myriad materials technologies will inject significant energy into our materials development initiatives for new clean-technology applications. We’re delighted to tap him for this key new role at Intematix and we welcome him on board.” Company News Release

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