First Solar and Intermolecular are planning to extend a previous R&D collaboration established last year and develope what they describe as “disruptive new approaches” to boosting the solar cell conversion efficiencies of First Solar’s CdTe solar cell technology.

According to First Solar, the new two-year partnership programme is expected to target module conversion efficiency gains well beyond its previously announced roadmap, while attempting to shorten the ‘time to market’ of technology, a key limitation in regards to the time record efficiency milestones are reported in the lab to the many years such advancements reach the manufacturing floor in high volume.

Raffi Garabedian, First Solar's Chief Technology Officer, said:“The combinatorial approach to material and process screening has shown promise to augment First Solar's already world-leading research and development capabilities in CdTe solar technology, enabling better performance and faster time-to-market.

"This programme targets disruptive advances in our module performance, which will be additive to our current roadmap. We are confident this effort will bear fruit in the coming years, combining with our other new R&D advances to extend our leadership in photovoltaic technology and further enhance value for our power plant customers."