Five solar device manufacturers – two from North America, two from China and one from Europe – have asked Natcore Technology Inc. to determine if Natcore's black silicon and liquid phase deposition (LPD) processes can help them reduce costs and improve the performance of their solar energy products.
The companies typically use plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition to deposit films on their products.
The two North American companies have sent Natcore sample wafers – some to process with black silicon, some with Natcore's proprietary LPD surface passivation technology and some with both processes. Both Chinese manufacturers have also asked Natcore to apply an ‘absolute black’ antireflective coating to the sample wafers they have provided. The European manufacturer is requesting that Natcore process wafers with a very thin LPD silica layer.
The thin layer is an integral part of the cell structure that the company now has in pilot production. Natcore says its proprietary LPD process makes it possible to grow a wide range of inorganic materials – such as silicon dioxide-based films – on a variety of substrates using a room-temperature, environmentally friendly chemical bath.
The work will be completed using Natcore's AR-Box at its research and development center in Rochester, N.Y.