United Solar earns U.S. patent for nanocrystalline silicon thin-film deposition technology

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Subhendu Guha, Jeff Yang and Baojie Yan of thin-film solar module manufacturer United Solar, a subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices, have been granted U.S. Patent 7,902,049 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office for their “method of depositing high-quality microcrystalline semiconductor materials.” The patent was granted to the company just a few months after it announced that the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory had conducted testing resulting in a 12% initial conversion of the nanocrystalline technology.

“This is yet another confirmation of the unique and innovative technological processes that United Solar is committed to developing, now and into the future,” said Mark Morelli, president and CEO of Energy Conversion Devices. “The proprietary technology covered in this patent will enable us to achieve our 12% aperture-area conversion efficiency in 2012, as outlined in our technology roadmap. The direct result of this is that we will be able to harness the sun's energy in a more cost-effective manner.”

This is the latest patent for United Solar, which has been awarded almost 70 U.S. patents in its 25 years of operation.

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