Technic, Inc., a global leader in the development of photovoltaic electrodeposition processes, recently announced a research and development partnership with the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, or CNSE, of the University at Albany. The agreement is designed to enable critical improvements in manufacturing processes for solar cells, the parties said.

CNSE’s Energy and Environmental Technology Applications Center, or E2TAC, located at CNSE’s world-class Albany NanoTech Complex, and Technic’s Advanced Technology Division, based in Plainview, N.Y., have begun collaborations on the $500,000 program designed to improve the efficiency of solar cells while lowering the costs of manufacturing. The collaboration has already made progress in the development of alternative metallization solutions for solar cell manufacturing through the deployment of innovative electroless plating tools and chemical processes to replace the costly silver paste grid-line process. Early results of this work will be presented at the 25th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference to be held Sept. 6-9 in Valencia, Spain.

“This partnership will offer silicon solar cell manufacturers a unique alternative metallization approach that can be optimized for production processing,” said Anthony Gallegos, global product manager of solar and semiconductor technology for Technic. “Through the combination of Technic’s distinctive position as one of the only suppliers that can provide both chemistry and deposition tools to the PV industry, and CNSE’s recognized global leadership in providing unmatched intellectual know-how and technological capabilities to support nanoscale innovation, we look forward to a productive collaboration.”

Dr. Pradeep Haldar, director of CNSE’s E2TAC, concurred. “The UAlbany NanoCollege is delighted to be working with Technic to develop advanced nanoscale technologies that will improve the efficiency of solar cells while lowering the cost of manufacturing,” he said. “This partnership further demonstrates the advantages of deploying CNSE’s world-class intellectual power base and state-of-the-art infrastructure to advance clean and renewable energy technologies—and to support high-tech companies located throughout New York State.”

The collaboration is supported by a $200,000 grant provided by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

About CNSE
The UAlbany CNSE is the first college in the world dedicated to education, research, development, and deployment in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience, nanoengineering, nanobioscience, and nanoeconomics. With more than $5.5 billion in high-tech investments, the 800,000-square-foot complex attracts corporate partners from around the world and offers students a one-of-a-kind academic experience. The UAlbany NanoCollege houses the only fully-integrated, 300mm wafer, computer chip pilot prototyping and demonstration line within 80,000 square feet of Class 1 capable cleanrooms. More than 2,500 scientists, researchers, engineers, students, and faculty work on site at CNSE’s Albany NanoTech. These include companies such as IBM, AMD, GlobalFoundries, SEMATECH, Toshiba, Applied Materials, Tokyo Electron, ASML, Novellus Systems, Vistec Lithography and Atotech.