Solar

Solar cell manufacturing line from APNT uses nanoparticle inks, non contact printing on ultra thin Si wafers

Applied Nanotech will launch its solar inks pilot manufacturing line next month. Applied Nanotech’s nanoparticle ink technology formulations will be delivered using non-contact printing techniques that will enable ultra-thin silicon wafers to be used for photovoltaic applications.

April 26, 2011 — Applied Nanotech Holdings Inc. (OTC BB: APNT) will launch its solar inks pilot manufacturing line with a ribbon-cutting ceremony May 6th at Applied Nanotech’s newly extended facility in Austin, Texas, US.

Applied Nanotech’s nanoparticle ink technology formulations of aluminum, copper, nickel and silver will be delivered using aerosolized jet, inkjet and spray coating methods and other non-contact printing techniques that will enable ultra-thin silicon wafers to be used for photovoltaic (PV) applications.

Currently, solar cell wafers must be thick enough to survive the direct contact metallization processes, which use screen printing equipment that comes in direct contact with the wafer and can exert enough force to cause ultra-thin wafers to break. Silicon is the largest cost in conventional solar cell production and the primary material in solar cells, making up 50-60% of overall cost, by APNT’s estimates.

Using methods such as inkjet, aerosol jet and spray coating — all non-contact methods — will allow solar companies to save substantial material costs on the amount of silicon used by enabling the use of thin wafers. “Through its proprietary nanoparticle inks and non-contact printing methods, Applied Nanotech is leading the transition to use thin solar wafers in high throughput production environments,” commented Dr. Zvi Yaniv, CEO of Applied Nanotech, Inc.

“The fact that we are now able to produce sample inks in substantial quantities will accelerate commercialization [by other manufacturers] and licensing of our nanoparticle inks and non-contact printable approach,” stated Doug Baker, CEO of Applied Nanotech Holdings Inc.

In September 2010, Applied Nanotech was awarded $1.6 million in federal funding as part of The Recovery Act funds administered through the Department of Energy to develop its solar inks pilot manufacturing line. Applied Nanotech added 4,000 square feet to its 16,000 square foot existing state-of-the-art facility, located in Austin, Texas. The new addition enables the company to develop and produce prototypes using its metallic inks printed onto thin silicon solar cells, and contributes to local clean energy job creation.

The ceremony will begin with comments by Lee Leffingwell, Austin City Mayor, Lloyd Doggett, Congressman, 25th District of Texas and Applied Nanotech executive officers, Dr. Zvi Yaniv, and Doug Baker. The launch will end with a tour of the facility and a networking hour.

Applied Nanotech Holdings, Inc. (OTCBB: APNT) is a premier research and commercialization organization focused on solving problems at the molecular level. Applied Nanotech’s website is http://www.appliednanotech.net.

Also read: Functionalized carbon nanotubes expand epoxy applications

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