DuPont acquires solar technology company Innovalight

DuPont yesterday said that it has acquired solar technology company Innovalight as part of the chemicals company plan of doubling sales revenue in the photovoltaic market to $2 billion by 2014.

Without disclosing the financial terms of the deal, the Delaware-based chemical giant said that Innovalight specialises in advanced silicon inks and process technologies that increase the efficiency of crystalline silicon solar cells.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Innovalight makes a black ink-like nanomaterial that is applied to silicon cells during the solar manufacturing process. Adding a silicon ink printing step can boost the efficiency of monocrystalline solar cells by up to 19 per cent over the traditional process. 

Silicon inks used in conjunction with DuPont's Solamet photovoltaic metallisation pastes boost the amount of electricity produced from sunlight, enabling the production of superior Selective Emitter solar cells.

According to industry estimates, Selective Emitter technology could represent 13 per cent of crystalline silicon solar cell production by 2013 and up to 38 per cent by 2020.

DuPont, which makes more than $1 billion a year selling materials to solar manufacturers, said that the acquisition would further strengthen its position as a leader in materials for the solar energy market, enabling a broader and more integrated photovoltaic materials and technology offering.