The editors of R+D Magazine have named Solexant Corp., developer of third-generation ultrathin-film PV technology, a winner of its 47th Annual R+D 100 Awards for the most technologically significant products introduced in the past year. Solexant's Nanocrystal Solar Cell, developed at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (LBNL) by Dr. Paul Alivisatos' group, is the first solar cell based on ultrathin films incorporating nanocrystals made of high-performance, inorganic materials. Solexant combines high-efficiency materials with additional manufacturing innovations to achieve cost savings of up to 50 percent compared to other PV technologies.
"The R+D 100 Award puts the wind at our back as Solexant moves into the commercialization stage of our Nanocrystal Solar Cell technology," said Damoder Reddy, CEO of Solexant. "This award is an honor for Solexant, the LBNL and its many collaborating scientists, and marks a transition point for the PV industry."
The long-standing R+D 100 Awards are a mark of excellence known to industry, government, and academia as evidence that a new product has merit as a genuine innovation. Among this year's winners are Ford, Dow Chemical, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Agilent, Hitachi, Battelle, and Intel. Past winning technologies have included the fax machine, liquid crystal display, and HDTV.
"The R+D 100 Awards span an impressive array of technologies that often make definitive impacts on our lives," said R+D Magazine Senior Editor Paul Livingstone.
Solexant's nanocrystal films, made from high-efficiency inorganic materials, are flexible--an industry first. Until now, low-efficiency organic materials were required to produce low-cost flexible thin films. Due to the flexibility of its films, Solexant can use the low-cost, high-volume "roll-to-roll" production technique, similar to printing ink on paper. This combination of high-efficiency materials and low-cost production allows Solexant to boast one of the lowest-cost-per-watt figures in the business.
"Our aim has been to deliver the lowest-cost-per-watt in the PV industry from day one," said Solexant's Reddy.
Nanocrystal Solar Cell technology can be scaled up rapidly, requires low energy input, and is recyclable. This unique combination of low-cost manufacturing, high- efficiency potential and long-term stability could provide a significant advantage over alternative solar cell technologies.