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Energy Materials Corporation Sets World Record for High-Speed, Roll-to-Roll Printing of Conductors on Flexible Glass for Perovskite Solar Panels

·3 min read

Company achieves milestone by printing fine metal conductors on flexible glass at 60 meters per minute (200 feet/minute), which significantly reduces cost and aligns with inline manufacturing model

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Jan. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Energy Materials Corporation (EMC), the global leader in the development of high-speed roll-to-roll manufacturing of high-performance solar energy panels, announces that it has developed an enabling process to print transparent conductors as part of the scale-up of its inline manufacturing process.

Roll-to-roll printing of metal conductors on Corning® Willow® Glass (flexible glass) at 60 meters per minute sets a world speed record for printing flexible electronics on glass. The process surpasses the company's goal of achieving less than 5% loss in the transmission of light though the conductive layer.

The manufacture of transparent conducting films, commonly found in flat panel screens, touchscreens on phones and tablets, as well as solar panels, is a complex and costly production step requiring low resistance electrodes that transmit a large fraction of incident light.

"A key piece of our high-speed, low-cost model is to print all the layers of our solar module in one continuous inline process. Typical transparent conductors are manufactured using a high temperature, vacuum deposition process that is more than ten times too slow to be integrated into our high-speed inline system," stated Dr. Tom Tombs, EMC CTO. "Our ability to print fine metal lines at 60 meters per minute is a critical element that allows us to eliminate the high-cost of transparent conductors, such as ITO, currently used in solar cells."

"This combination of product performance at high process speed illustrates the benefit of using high-resolution flexography for additive manufacturing. This is an example of Kodak's commitment to helping partners develop revolutionary products with our unique EKTAFLEX functional printing platform, manufacturing infrastructure and technical expertise," stated Dr. Terry Taber, CTO, Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company, and Sr. Vice President of Advanced Materials & Chemicals.

"Corning® Willow® Glass brings together the benefit of glass substrate for electronic devices and the capability of low cost, high throughput roll-to-roll processing, enabling the production of this low cost perovskite PV product envisioned by EMC," stated Dr. Dipak Chowdhury, Division Vice President, Corning Incorporated.

Dr. Stephan DeLuca, EMC's CEO stated, "This milestone demonstrates the power of our rapid-pace manufacturing development model; the combination of materials and process knowledge of our exclusive joint development partners, Corning and Kodak, allows EMC to accelerate bringing high performance, low-cost perovskite modules to market."

EMC's work with high-speed, transparent conductor layer printing is partially supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO). SETO funds innovative cooperative research and development projects that drive down the cost of solar electricity and improve the performance of solar technologies that enhance grid reliability and security.

About Energy Materials Corporation
Energy Materials Corporation is an American innovator and manufacturer developing high performance renewable energy products focused on the terawatt scale required to underpin the urgent global electrification and decarbonization effort while working within the Circular Economy model. www.enmatcorp.com.

EMC is a founding member of the U.S National Renewable Energy Laboratory's U.S. Manufacturing Advance Perovskite Consortium (U.S. MAP) https://www.usa-perovskites.org/

Contact: Dave P. Buemi
Energy Materials Corporation

EMC Pilot Line
EMC Pilot Line

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SOURCE Energy Materials Corporation