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28 June 2007


Start-up QuantaSol generates £1.35m investment for GaAs-based photovoltaic cells

Investment company Low Carbon Accelerator Limited (LCA) of the UK has invested £480,000 in QuantaSol Limited for a 15.34% equity stake. Furthermore, subject to QuantaSol achieving certain targets, LCA will invest an additional £320,000, increasing its total equity ownership to 25.6%.

LCA’s investment comes as part of a £1.35m (around $2.7m) seed funding round. Other investors included: Imperial Innovations, Numis Securities Ltd, Netscientific Ltd, and Sheffield University Enterprise. LCA and Imperial Innovations co-led the equity investment.

According to LCA, QuantaSol’s aim is to provide solar photovoltaic (PV) cells for use in concentrating photovoltaic (CPV) systems for the utility-scale solar power generation market. The funding will be used to produce prototype Quantum Well Photovoltaic (QWPV) cells.

QuantaSol's "third generation" PV cells are based on GaAs and other semiconductor materials, as opposed to the silicon often used for flat panel PV cells. The company plans to manufacture single and multi-junction concentrator solar cells with efficiency levels of up to 40% (significantly higher than is currently achieved with silicon-based PVs).

Founded in 2006, QuantaSol’s technology is based on the research of Professor Keith Barnham, Emeritus Professor of Physics and senior research investigator in the Department of Physics at Imperial College London; Dr Massimo Mazzer, senior researcher of the National Research Council of Italy and Dr John Roberts, senior research scientist at The University of Sheffield.

Kevin Arthur, CEO of QuantaSol, said: "We are very grateful for the support that we have received from Low Carbon Accelerator, and are looking forward to working with them and the rest of the investor group to take QuantaSol forward to become a major global supplier of third generation, high efficiency solar cells."

See related items:

Honda starts selling CIGS solar cells

Emcore achieves 31% efficiency for new space solar cells

Emerging PV technologies growing at 43% annually

DOE funds first projects in $168m Solar America Initiative

NREL’s multi-junction solar cell pioneers awarded Dan David Prize

Spectrolab’s new terrestrial solar cell smashes 40% efficiency barrier