Harvard University spin-off SiOnyx has entered into a joint development agreement with Coherent to evaluate and develop the start-up’s light-absorbent material for solar cell fabrication applications. Fabrication of black silicon uses femtosecond laser processing of the target material to produce absorbent layers that better capture infrared light, potentially boost solar cell conversion efficiencies over conventional processes. Coherent has been active in developing laser-based techniques for both c-Si and thin film process technologies.
“Partnering with Coherent gives SiOnyx access to the industry’s most advanced ultrafast laser technology and allows us to continue the rapid pace of advancement of the Black Silicon platform,” commented Stephen Saylor, president/CEO of SiOnyx. “With this collaboration, we look forward to demonstrating the scalability of our process beyond the initial applications of photodetection and imaging and exploit the compelling benefits of Black Silicon’s enhanced quantum efficiency in the solar industry.”
John Ambroseo, Coherent’s president/CEO, said, “Together with our rapidly growing solar tools business, it will position both companies to capture new opportunities in the photovoltaic industry as it continues to expand toward grid parity.”
Little has been heard from SiOnyx since 2008, regarding its solar cell applications for its Black Silicon material. The company claims that the product can improve conversion efficiencies and manufacturing yields while reducing production costs.
The technology partners did not disclose how long the development program would last or whether a production ready solution would be available.