Sumitomo Chemical and RoseStreet Labs Announce Joint Venture for Full Spectrum Solar Cells

31-Oct-2006

Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. announced the establishment of a joint venture, RSL Energy, Inc. (RSLE) with the US company RoseStreet Labs, LLC (RSL) for the development, manufacture and sale of full spectrum solar cells.

RSL will assign RSLE exclusive licenses from both Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and Cornell University (Cornell) for unique semiconductor devices that capture a significant increase in solar energy compared to existing products. Through the new joint venture, Sumitomo Chemical and RSL intend to leverage this proprietary technology to commercialize next-generation high-efficiency solar cells in three years.

RSLE will commercialize Berkeley Lab's multi-band technology, which won the R&D 100 Award in September of this year. According to the company, the multi-band technology incorporates a unique new semiconductor material that can achieve the efficiencies of a triple junction device with the manufacturing cost and simplicity of a single junction device. In addition, RSLE is also aiming for the early commercialization of multijunction technology, capitalizing on InGaN compound semiconductor technology cooperatively developed by Berkeley Lab and Cornell, which absorbs a similarly wide range of the spectrum as multi-band technology.

When completed, this technology can be expected to achieve practical efficiencies above 48%, three times greater than mainstream silicon-based solar cell technology.

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