How to significantly increase the efficiency of solar cells beyond the theoretical limit of 30%?
It turns out that Segton AdT has devised an ingenious recipe for doing this with functional nanostructures injected into the mass of crystalline silicon.
What we do
Giant Photoconversion (GPC)
The new approach allows to go beyond one of the axioms of photovoltaics, optoelectronics and photonics, namely that each photon can only generate a maximum of one electron in the conduction band. The Giant Photoconversion now makes possible to generate several electrons by a single photon with an energy slightly greater than that of the band gap of silicon.
Our patented technology
What is carrier multiplication ?
The electric carrier multiplication is a phenomenon that releases several electrons from a single photon with enough energy. Carrier multiplication exists without nanostructure (impact ionization), but it requires high energy photons that have little presence in the solar spectrum at the Earth's surface.
Production within one to two years
Thanks to the progress of knowledge in nanotechnology to which the engineering of SEGTONs belongs and the development of dedicated digital tools which support the technology of Segton AdT (simulation / modeling tools). The industrialization of new cells will also be able to adapt to medium-sized production units in an existing industrial fabric. These production units can in particular be installed in connection with existing module assembly lines.
The context of the development of the GPC product
The main objective of SEGTON AdT's R&D work was to demonstrate that silicon-based optical devices have the potential to even double their light-to-electricity conversion efficiency in a wide IR-UV spectral range of the electromagnetic field. Using the phenomena described above, SEGTON AdT defined the technology to fabricate a converter / detector and produce demonstrators integrating these processes.
Given, for example, market potential for photovoltaic cells and strong global dominance of Asian producers, the successful industrial implementation of our results may reverse the negative trend currently prevailing in the European photovoltaic industry.
Initially, the discovery of "SEGTONs" and their potential for exploitation was carried out at the Photonic Systems Laboratory of the University of Strasbourg which assigned the first patent to its inventors (founders of the company SEGTON AdT) who have continued to develop it.
Address of GPC cell production technology could allow France to quickly become a world industrial leader R&D center
No other high efficiency PV product that can be mass produced competitively and quickly has such industrial prospects
Easily recyclable and without any rare-earth elements
The performances of other high efficiency PV products are often the exclusive domain of the laboratory with various constraints (use of rare or toxic materials, absence of available automated production machines).
The tools for industrial production of GPC cells come from microelectronics, and are faster to mobilize with an overall cost expected per peak watt of installations inferior to installations using foreign PV cells.
It should be noted that GPC technology has the particularity of excluding any use of heavy metals or free nanoparticles and can therefore enter into the traditional recycling of silicon cells. Likewise, the lifespan of the cells and the maintenance of their characteristics over the long term can be guaranteed.
Giant Photoconversion (GPC) is a revolutionary discovery that improves the yields of photovoltaic panels without increasing the production costs.
Mechanisms behind GPC
One of the advances, on which we based our research, was the discovery of a new mechanism in crystalline silicon specially modified at the nanoscale . This new physical effect is able to ensure the role of low- energy generation of secondary (additional) electrons by electron-electron collision.
One of the assumptions that usually limit theoretical maximum efficiency calculations is thus exceeded, which considerably pushes back the potentially accessible maximum efficiency. The main idea of the technology carried by SEGTON AdT is thus to benefit from a new phenomenon of carrier multiplication, made very effective by the nanostructuring of silicon.