MIT Researchers Develop More Precise Method of Producing Defect-free Patterns in Nanocrystal Films
CompoundSemi News Staff
August 20, 2012...Researchers at MIT have reported a new method of producing defect free patterns of nanocystals in thin films that is more precise than conventional methods. The work builds on research by Moungi Bawendi, the Lester Wolfe Professor of Chemistry at MIT and a co-author of the paper in Nanoletters about the development.
Additionally, the researchers say that materials can be patterned and sized to glow or fluoresce in a range of different colors based on their sizes even though they are made of the same material. This reportedly allows the material to be studied under an optical microscope (despite being below its resolution limit) as opposed to the time consuming and costly process of using an electron microscope.
The researchers note that defect free patterns enable more precise study of the crystals. The researchers also claim that the electrical conductivity of defect-free films is roughly 180 times greater than that of the cracked films made by conventional methods.
Mentzel says, “The trick was to get the film to be uniform, and to stick” to the silicon dioxide substrate, Kastner adds. That was achieved by leaving a thin layer of polymer to coat the surface before depositing the layer of nanocrystals on top of it. The researchers speculate that tiny organic molecules on the surface of the nanocrystals help them bind to the polymer layer.
The technique has has already reportedly enabled new research about electron movement in the films. Such materials could one day be used for biological detectors, screening systems, and medical device testing.
August 20, 2012...First Solar, Inc., a maker of cadmium telluride thin-film solar cells based in Tempe, Arizona USA, announced that it has established a Thailand operating subsidiary, First Solar (Thailand) Ltd., and opened an office in Bangkok. First Solar reportedly entered the Thai PV market in 2011, and since that time more than 12 megawatts (MW) of solar PV projects have already been installed or are under construction using First Solar’s advanced thin‐film module technology.According to First Solar, Thailand is expected to remain an important solar market in Southeast Asia due to its strong economic growth, significant energy demand and abundant solar resource.
The company says that the creation of the local subsidiary will better enable the company to expand the market for utility‐scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants in the local market, and to deliver value to Thai solar power producers. “The long‐term energy fundamentals in Thailand are very favorable for a solar power solution to meet their growing energy needs, and we will continue to invest here as part of our strategy to develop sustainable, utilityscale solar markets,” said Won Park, Senior Manager, Business Development.
Jilin University Orders Aixtron Reactor for GaN UV and White LED Research
LIGHTimes News Staff
August 16, 2012...Aixtron SE today announced that existing customer, Jilin University China ordered a new MOCVD system. Aixtron indicated that the university ordered one CCS reactor in a 3x2-inch wafer configuration, which will be dedicated to the growth of gallium nitride materials for UV and white LEDs.
One of Aixtron’s local support teams has installed and commissioned the new reactor in a clean-room facility at Jilin University in Changchun, China. Jilin University is a leading national university under the direct jurisdiction of China's Ministry of Education is located in Changchun, the capital city of Jilin Province in Northeast China. The university is made up of eight campuses across five districts, which are home to thirty-nine colleges covering twelve academic disciplines. The University boasts sixteen disciplinary areas, six state key laboratories, and eight national bases for the development of basic science. Other resources include seven key laboratories sponsored by the Ministry of Education and eleven by other ministries of the Chinese government.
Dr. Zhang of the Jilin University, State Key Laboratory on Integrated Optoelectronics, commented, “We already have experience and a very good understanding of Aixtron systems, and we were particularly impressed with the reactor’s ergonomics and security. The system has set the standard amongst the world's best laboratories, thus we intend to join those ranks. Our intention is to develop exciting new material structures that will lead to greater understanding and to production of gallium nitride materials for UV and white LEDs. This is a challenging task, but we are confident that the combination of the process technology capabilities of the CCS reactor and strong backing from the local Aixtron support team will enable us to achieve our aims quickly and efficiently.”
Rubicon Develops Sapphire Growth Platform to Produce Large Windows for Military and Industrial Applications
CompoundSemi News Staff
August 15, 2012...Rubicon Technology, Inc. based in Bensenville, Illinois USA, a provider of sapphire substrates, announced a project, dubbed Large-Area Net-shape Crystal Extraction (LANCE). The project, which involves a newly developed and distinct growth platform, aims to produce large-area sapphire windows of optical quality for military sensing applications. The project is supported by a grant from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), with a total value of $4.7 million over three years.
Rubicon Technology will produce very large polished sapphire infrared (IR) windows for the Air Force Research Laboratory. Production will be scaled to meet the current and future requirements of the Air Force, beginning with intermediate sizes and progressing to windows as large as 36 x 18 x 0.8 inches. These sapphire windows will meet a variety of needs in both government and private sector applications.
Rubicon’s new technological platform will grow panels approximately two inches thick, which can be cut into multiple windows of varying thickness. The platform is distinct from Rubicon’s ES2 crystal growth technology, which will remain the platform for Rubicon’s C-plane sapphire used in the LED industry and R-plane sapphire for Silicon-on-Sapphire RFIC applications. Sapphire is reportedly desirable for its hardness and strength, transparency in the visible and IR spectrum, thermal conductivity, thermal shock resistance, abrasion resistance, high melting point and chemical inertness. This makes it ideal for IR windows in extreme environments where durability is as important as optical clarity.
Emcore Consolidates Terrestrial CPV Business Into Joint Venture and Completes Business and Management Realignment
CompoundSemi News Staff
August 10, 2012...Emcore Corporation of Albuquerque, New Mexico announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement, subject to closing conditions, to consolidate its terrestrial concentrating photovoltaics (CPV) system engineering and development efforts into its joint venture, Suncore Photovoltaics. Emcore and San'an Optoelectronics Co, Ltd. formed Suncore Photovoltaics in late 2010, to manufacturing and develop CPV systems in China. Emcore also announced that it has completed a business and a management realignment.
Under the new agreement, Emcore and Suncore will consolidate intellectual property and development efforts for both ground mount and rooftop terrestrial CPV products, including key engineering, and sales and marketing personnel, to a wholly-owned subsidiary of Suncore in the United States. Suncore's subsidiary will fund all ongoing R&D, marketing, sales and business development related to terrestrial CPV systems. Emcore will continue to own all of its intellectual property related to solar cell technology and maintain investment activities to advance CPV cell performance to serve a broader customer base within the CPV industry.
Emcore says that the consolidation agreement and the the sale of its Enterprise product lines to Sumitomo Electric Device Innovations USA back in May mark the completion of the company's business realignment which the company says will allow focus on its technology and product solutions that have strong differentiation in the marketplace. Emcore says these product lines lost about $15 millon over the past 4 quarters.
As part of the realignment, the company eliminated the Executive Director position and Mr. Reuben Richards Jr., company president and CEO, will retire as executive director, but continue on as director of the board.
MiaSolé Reorganizes Manufacturing and Operations to Enable Strategic Partnership
CompoundSemi News Staff
August 13, 2012...MiaSolé of Santa Clara, California USA, a producer of copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) thin-film photovoltaic solar panels, announced a reorganization of its manufacturing and operations. There is no word on how many employees the 350 employee company will shed in the reorganization. The company plans to shrink its glass solar module business, which competes directly with the Chinese silicon solar cell market.
The company plans to reorganize its workforce to retain employees in the technology, commercial and flexible product areas and make reductions in manufacturing and operations. The goal of the reorganization is to reduce costs and focus the company on critical functions. MiaSolé contends that the restructuring will also ensure continued CIGS technology development, execution on our sales pipeline and ongoing development of our flexible CIGS product.
John Carrington, CEO of MiaSolé said, "... in the near term we need to conserve costs to enable a strategic partnership. The company is looking forward to aligning with a partner and collectively executing on our technology roadmap, flexible product launch and additional capacity to fulfill our 1GW+ commercial pipeline. I am confident based on current discussions we will finalize a partnership within the next 60-90 days.”
Ascent Solar to Produce CIGS-based Charger for Galaxy S III Phone
CompoundSemi News Staff
August 13, 2012...
Ascent Solar Technologies, Inc., a maker of flexible thin-film CIGS photovoltaic modules, reports that it has launched a charger for the Samsung® Galaxy S III® smart phone featuring Ascent's ultra light CIGS technology. The charger will be branded under Ascent's EnerPlex line of consumer products and will incorporate the company's solar cells into a sleek, protective Galaxy S III case, along with an ultra thin battery. Ascent Solar says that the charger adds minimal weight and size to the Galaxy S III yet provides significantly improved battery life by harnessing sunlight for electric power.
The company is releasing the EnerPlex for the Galaxy S III following the successful launch of the EnerPlex for iPhone® 4S case. The EnerPlex case for the Samsung Galaxy S III will debut in South Korea in October with an expected launch in the United States in time for the 2012 holiday shopping season.
Ascent Solar's President and CEO, Victor Lee, said, "The EnerPlex charger is the only protective case for the Samsung Galaxy S III which leverages the lightweight qualities and superior aesthetics of our CIGS solar technology. It will extend the usage time of the Galaxy S III while preserving the high level of design quality that consumers demand."
Lee continued, "With the launch of this second product in the EnerPlex line, Ascent now has a solar charger for two of the most popular smart phones on the market, the Apple iPhone and the Samsung Galaxy S III."
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