Sunday, July 1, 2007

Bioplastics and Quantum Dots: The Next Generation in Thin Film

The world's first thin-film solar cell built with bio-based components has been developed by BioSolar, Inc, the company announced last week. The bio-plastic components developed by BioSolar replace petroleum-based plastics, that not only bear the burden of its environmental implications, but also lead to upward pressures in PV panels as the price of crude oil escalates. Previously, bio-plastics made from renewable plant sources have not been able to withstand the high temperature involved in the manufacture of PV systems. BioSolar has developed a proprietary process to produce bio-plastics that are not only able to withstand the high temperatures, but also possess all the physical and eletromaganetic characteristics of conventional petroleum-based plastics.

Also reported last week, Menlo Park-based Stion raised $15 million in Series B financing. The company is keeping its thin-film technology under wraps, but a CNET article speculates that the basis of Stion's technology lies in quantum dots--nano particles that are sensitive to physical phenomena and can be used to trap electrons.

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