10 July 2012

Intermolecular collaborating with Saudi Arabia’s KAUST

Intermolecular Inc of San Jose, CA, USA has announced an ongoing project with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) for the enhancement of copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing technology.

The metrology capabilities of the Solar and Photovoltaics Engineering Research Center (SPERC) at KAUST in Thuwal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, are being used along with Intermolecular’s High Productivity Combinatorial (HPC) platform in San Jose to rapidly learn about high-efficiency CIGS solar cell materials and process interdependencies.

Intermolecular says that its mission is to improve R&D efficiency in the semiconductor and clean-energy industries through collaborations that use its HPC platform, which allows R&D experimentation to be performed at speeds up to 100 times faster than traditional methods.

“Working with Intermolecular’s team and HPC platform allows us to accelerate our mission of developing sustainable solar power,” says professor Ghassan Jabbour, director of SPERC at KAUST. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is focusing enormous resources on developing renewable energy technologies as part of the strategy to transform its fossil fuel-based economy in the coming decades,” he adds. “KAUST is at the forefront of this effort and sees CIGS technology as extremely promising in terms of its potential to deliver the lowest-cost solar electricity in the Kingdom.”

The joint project is led by research scientist Dr Jessica Eid, a member of professor Jabbour’s team, hosted at Intermolecular’s facility in San Jose.

“We are fully committed to accelerating various PV technologies using our HPC platform,” says Sandeep Nijhawan, Intermolecular’s VP of its Clean Energy Group. “We recently reported progress on our patent-pending sulfur-free, two-step sputtered CIGS approach with fundamental manufacturing benefits at the IEEE PV Specialists Conference (IEEE-PVSC),” he adds. “The breakthrough result of 17.7% active-area CIGS efficiency at an open-circuit voltage of 692mV — which we developed internally in less than one year — reaffirms the broad applicability of our HPC platform to rapidly advance CIGS PV.”

Intermolecular’s mission is to drive our customers’ success by transforming R&D and accelerating innovation in markets that derive competitive advantage from the interaction of materials science, processes, integration and device architecture.

Tags: Intermolecular CIGS

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