Nov. 1, 2005 – HelioVolt Corp., an Austin, Texas, developer of solar energy technology, announced the joint publication with researchers from the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) of experimental results the company says confirm CEO B.J. Stanbery’s new theoretical model published in January.
The model is intended to explain much of the observed device physics and high performance characteristics of copper indium gallium selenide-based (CIGS) photovoltaics.
CIGS photovoltaics have traditionally lagged behind silicon in terms of research and investment despite the lower materials cost of CIGS. HelioVolt says its research equips the photovoltaic industry with the understanding of the technology necessary to energize commercialization efforts.
In particular, the model asserts that CIGS performance is attributed to a process called “spontaneous nanostructuring” by which the material in the CIGS absorber layer arranges itself at the atomic level for optimum photovoltaic efficiency.
“The nanostructure network that naturally occurs in CIGS is like creating separate express lanes for the positive and negative electrical charge carriers, reducing collisions between them and thereby increasing the current that flows outside of the device,” Stanbery said in a prepared statement. “Even when the composition of the CIGS devices varies, as long as this network exists, the efficient flow of the charge carriers takes place.”