UCF researchers have invented a novel additive manufacturing system and methods for thin film fabrication specifically useful in fabricating higher performance solar photovoltaic (PV) cells at a fraction of the cost of traditional PV cell manufacturing methods. A manufacturer can use the invention to produce a thin film based IBSC and structural arrays or to realize quantum dots, narrow lines and thin films. The technology was developed to manufacture flexible electronics using nanoparticles. The deposition of semiconductor material nanodots in a rapid manner will allow the fabrication of new architecture optoelectronic devices such as conformal solar cells. For the thin films, the laser electrospray printhead operates in a steady cone-jet mode to deposit micro-droplets of nanoparticles onto glass or flexible substrates, such as polyimide plastics. For the structural arrays, the electrospray uses microdripping as well as the cone-jet spray mode to fabricate micro‐ and nano-dot superlattices. Rapid heating and cooling, inherent in laser processing, enables the system to heat a thin layer of materials without melting the substrate. Thus, the technology offers an advantage over other deposition techniques, especially for making solar cells on plastic substrates.
Primary Application Area: Electronics, Sensors, Communications
Technology Development Status: Prototype
Technology Readiness Level: TRL 4
Vetted Programs/Awards: 3rd Place at the Siemens Pitch Masters. Orlando, Apr 10, 2018.
Semifinalist at the Joust New Venture Competition. UCF’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership. Orlando, Mar 29, 2018.
Organization Type: Academic/Gov Lab
Showcase Booth #: 431
GOVT/EXTERNAL FUNDING SOURCES