Unidym, Inc, a majority-owned subsidiary of Arrowhead Research Corporation, announced that it has entered into a joint development agreement with Nippon Kayaku, to integrate Unidym's printable transparent electrodes into Nippon Kayaku's thin film solar cells. Nippon Kayaku Co. is a diversified Japanese chemical company with over $1.4B in 2007 sales that is bringing its global development and manufacturing capabilities to the rapidly developing thin film solar cell market.
According to Solarbuzz, an international solar energy research and consulting company, thin-film photovoltaic technologies hold great promise in the solar market and could contribute strongly to the industry's expected growth from $10.6 billion in 2006 to $18.5 billion by 2011.
Thin film solar cells require a transparent electrode material for optimal efficiency, and Unidym's carbon nanotube-based electrodes could offer substantial benefits over the materials currently in use, such as indium tin oxide (ITO).
"Unidym's products provide several advantages over ITO for solar cell manufacturers, including compatibility with high-volume, roll-to-roll manufacturing techniques, lower materials cost, and enhanced flexibility," said Art Swift, Unidym's CEO and President. "We expect our printable electrodes to significantly improve production economics for innovative solar companies like Nippon Kayaku and accelerate widespread adoption of solar power."
"Nippon Kayaku is delighted to be working with Unidym to integrate carbon nanotube-based electrodes into our thin-film solar cells," said Mr. T. Inoue, Group Leader of Nippon Kayaku's solar cell project. "We expect to be a technology leader in this important segment of the solar power market."