DuPont Scientists Win Heroes of Chemistry Award

Scientists from DuPont Photovoltaic and Advanced Materials (PVAM) based in Wilmington, Delaware were awarded the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) Heroes of Chemistry Award for their invention of DuPont™ Solamet® PV17x. Solamet PV17x is a metallization paste that drastically improves the energy efficiency of solar cells.

Fine silver lines are printed onto solar panels. The design of these solar lines and their unique material results in the efficient capture of the sun’s energy and also the efficient conversion of this energy into electricity.

DuPont scientists advanced lead-tellurite frit chemistry and brought the technology to market. They developed multiple generations of Solamet® metallization pastes. The company says that the pastes significantly enhance performance and increase cell efficiency. Dupont points out that majority of the PV industry has adopted tellurite-based silver pastes in essentially all p-type c-Si solar cells, which reportedly make up more than 90 percent of the overall $34 million annual solar module market.

ACS Sponsors Heroes of Chemistry Award

The American Chemical Society sponsors the annual Heroes of Chemistry Award that recognizes talented industrial chemical scientists whose work has led to the development of successfully commercialized products resulting from chemistry advances.

This year, the award goes to a diverse team of DuPont scientists who advanced solar technology: Kurt Mikeska, Charlie Torardi, Paul VerNooy, Ken Hang, Brian Laughlin and Alan Carroll.

“ACS knows that good business results usually have good science as their foundation. As a result of our scientists’ dedication and commitment, our solar cell manufacturer customers were able to make more efficient cells, use less paste, expand the wafer firing temperature window, and improve adhesion during the panel making process,” said Chuck Xu, global business director, DuPont Photovoltaic and Advanced Materials.

“DuPont™ Solamet® technology plays a central role in making solar panels more powerful and more cost-effective,” said Peter Dorhout, ACS president.

The 2018 Heroes of Chemistry awards ceremony will take place Sunday, Aug. 19, in Boston.