Silicon Ink Technology Offers Path to Higher Efficiency Solar Cells at Lower Cost

Project Overview
Positive Impact: EERE supported the development of the first liquid silicon on the market that offers a novel path to producing more efficient solar cells at lower cost.
Locations: Sunnyvale, California
Partners: Innovalight
EERE Investment: $3 million
Clean Energy Sector: Renewable electricity generationPDF

Partnering with Sunnyvale-based Innovalight, which was acquired by DuPont in July 2011, EERE supported the development of the first commercially available liquid silicon offering a novel path to producing more efficient solar cells at lower cost. While Innovalight participated in the SunShot Incubator program, the company increased the conversion efficiency of its cells from 14% to 19% and increased their ability to produce its silicon ink to more than 250 megawatts of manufacturing capacity. During this time, Innovalight increased its full-time staff in Sunnyvale by 50% and originated more than 10 patents.

Since 2007, EERE’s SunShot Incubator program has invested $92 million in 54 solar startups that have attracted more than $1.7 billion in venture capital and private equity investments. The Incubator program provides early-stage assistance to help startup companies cross technological barriers to commercialization while encouraging private investment.

The Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) focuses on achieving the goals of the SunShot Initiative, which seeks to make solar energy cost-competitive with other forms of electricity by the end of the decade.

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