Paintable Solar Cells
Monday, August 24 2009
In 2002, he co-founded a California-based company called Innovalight, which is producing inks using silicon as the basis. Now, Korgel and his team are using copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS), which is cheaper and more benign in terms of environmental impact.
“CIGS has some potential advantages over silicon,” Korgel said. “It’s a direct band gap semiconductor, which means that you need much less material to make a solar cell, and that’s one of the biggest potential advantages.”
His team has developed solar-cell prototypes with efficiencies at one percent. “If we get to 10 percent, then there’s real potential for commercialization,” Korgel said. “If it works, I think you could see it being used in three to five years.” Korgel also said that the inks, which are semi-transparent, could help realize the prospect of having windows that double as solar cells.