Nanotechnology Firm Enters Photovoltaics Field

The goal of improving the efficiency of solar panels has led Solaris Nanosciences of Rhode Island to extend its nanotechnology research into photovoltaics. To help the company along with its research, Solaris has closed on an investment made by the venture-development Slater Technology Fund.

Solaris is a new nanotechnology company working to develop and scale-up its technology to become a leading manufacturer of “nanoparticles” for use in next-generation products, including cost effective solar energy panels, clearer video displays, and vision enhancement. “Recent events, such as diminishing oil reserves coupled with increasing costs for extracting fossil fuels highlight the need for effective and scalable alternative forms of energy,” Solaris President Nabil Lawandy said. “Our technology is poised to dramatically change the energy landscape by harnessing solar energy in a more efficient and cost effective manner.” As an early stage company, and spin-off from Spectra Systems, Solaris has completed the placement of a $150,000 convertible note with the Slater Technology Fund. These funds will be used to assist Solaris in its business development efforts. To date, Solaris has also received seed funding from Spectra Systems. The company has an active research and development program that is focusing on its nanoantenna technology and its application to significantly improve the performance of photovoltaic solar cells. Solaris Nanosciences is creating high-volume, scalable, synthetic routes for the production of nanomaterial structures for enhanced solar cells and other applications. The company said they have successfully made core-shell structures for collaborative testing in solar cell applications at the Swiss Federal Institute where dye-sensitized solar cells were discovered and pioneered using conventional materials. In addition, they have also produced a number of nanomaterials for further surface modification and eventual use in vision and liquid crystal display applications. Efforts have also focused on the engineering of the enhancement effect through a series of key experiments, which when complete, will allow the company to begin the second phase of development where the materials will be characterized in terms of their enhanced light harvesting capabilities. The company has collaborative research relationships with institutional and corporate partners, including Brown University, the University of Rhode Island and Emitech.
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