Ascent Solar Technologies and Cambrios Technologies have joined forces as research partners to investigate how Cambrios’ liquid, transparent conductive films can be applied to lightweight, flexible copper-indium-gallium-selenium (CIGS) photovoltaics.
The joint research is the topic of a recently awarded 12-month U.S. Army contract and marks the first time that Cambrios has publicly disclosed the nanomaterial’s possible feasibility for use as a PV cell electrode.
As part of the program, which will be undertaken on behalf of the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, Cambrios will deliver flexible solar cells that incorporate its ClearOhm electrode layer.
Because of the material’s improved transparency and light handling capability, the cells are expected to be 1-3% more efficient than the equivalent cells made with the conventional transparent electrode material, according to the company.
“Ascent Solar has very-high-efficiency CIGS solar cells, so they are the perfect partner for this program,” said Cambrios CEO Michael Knapp. “Unlike transparent conductive oxides typically used as thin-film solar cell electrodes, Cambrios’ ClearOhm material is also highly flexible. Together our companies have the right technologies to provide the Army with lightweight, flexible CIGS solar cells with better efficiency than what has been possible to date.”
Farhad Moghadam, president/CEO of Ascent Solar, noted that Cambrios’ technology, “with its higher optical transmission and improved electrical performance, offers us the potential to enhance the performance of our photovoltaic modules.
“Combined with the potential to implement direct write deposition technology, it is possible to simplify our manufacturing process. Finally, the performance of their technology matches up well with our future needs in high-performance flexible PV modules,” he added.