20-Apr-2010 - Dow Corning Corporation

Dow Corning and imec collaborate on high-efficiency, low-cost silicon solar cells

Dow Corning signed a three-year contract with imec to perform joint research on next generations of crystalline silicon solar cells. In the framework of imec’s industrial affiliation program (IIAP) on silicon solar cells, Dow Corning has entered into several joint development projects.

With its silicon solar cell IIAP, imec has set up a research ecosystem with the aim to create innovative processes to fabricate the next generations of silicon solar cells. The R&D program concentrates on sharply reducing the silicon use, whilst at the same time increasing the efficiency of solar cells. This could substantially lower the cost for solar energy.

The collaboration between Dow Corning and imec will focus on topics where Dow Corning’s advanced materials can bring enabling solutions for the processing and interconnection of future solar cells. An example is a silicone encapsulant process for integrated cell and module processing. Due to the use of very thin and large wafers, cell processing and module assembly become increasingly challenging. Imec and Dow Corning will combine new cell structures with novel silicone encapsulant processes with a goal of producing cost-effective modules with ultra-thin cells.

By joining the silicon solar cell IIAP, researchers from Dow Corning will be able to closely collaborate with the research team of imec and its silicon solar cell partners to build up fundamental understanding and develop robust material solutions for next-generation silicon-based solar cells.

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