The Challenge: The solar photovoltaic market is one of the fastest growing energy markets in the world. That growth comes amidst the race to the bottom on cell and module pricing driven by fierce supply side market competition. PV manufacturers can no longer count on economies of scale and incremental process improvements to attain profit in the face of competitive pricing pressures. Manufacturers need to differentiate their product by delivering better performance for the same or lower cost. QD Solar, a University of Toronto spinoff company, will provide this differentiation.
The Solution: QD Solar’s technology combines efficient silicon solar cells with highly cost-effective infrared solar cells in a hybrid architecture to harvest more of the solar spectrum than silicon alone. At a minimum cost, the silicon solar cell efficiency is boosted by an additional 4 power points.
The Technology: The basis of QD Solar’s technology is colloidal quantum dots. These materials are nanometer-sized semiconductor particles whose bandgap can be tuned from the visible to the infrared by changing the particle size. The quantum dots are processed from solution, are compatible with high-throughput, cost-effective roll-to-roll processing technologies, and are inorganic, thus inherently more light- and air-stable than polymers.
The Future: Beyond the hybrid architecture, QD Solar’s pathway is to use colloidal quantum dots to realize very high efficiency, low-cost multi-junction cells. The team at the University of Toronto demonstrated the first tandem solar cell based on colloidal quantum dot materials, and continues to push efficiencies higher.
All of these properties represent a game-changing opportunity for solar module manufacturers to partner with QD Solar.
The Business / Investment Opportunity: We are actively seeking out early stage development partners and investors to work with us to revolutionize the global power generation market with our colloidal quantum dot photovoltaic technology.
High performance solar module able to convert both infrared and visible portions of the solar spectrum into electrical energy
Global Solar Market:
Product Development Status:
Proof of principle: quantum dots based device capable of adding ~ 1% PCE to a standard silicon cell (on a roadmap to + 4% PCE augmentation)
Dan Shea, CEO
Dr. Sjoerd Hoogland, CTO
Dr. Armin Fischer, MBA, COO
Prof. Ted Sargent**
Dr. Sjoerd Hoogland, CTO
Dr. Armin Fischer
MaRS Centre, West Tower, 661 University Ave, Suite 465
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5G 1M1
T: +1(416) 371-0531
* Frost & Sullivan, June 2014
**Ted Sargent is a Professor at the University of Toronto, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Nanotechnology. He is a Fellow of the AAAS and the IEEE. Ted is founder and CTO of InVisage Technologies, Inc, a venture-backed company using quantum dots to develop the next generation of image sensors for digital cameras (Sargent Lab Research Website;
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