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Solar-Tectic Improves Production Process For Displays

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Whether it’s LCD or OLED, TVs and smartphones may see a boost in efficiency and luminance at a lower price point thanks to a new study done by the Centre for Autonomous Solar Power (CASP) at Binghamton University and Solar-Tectic LLC.

Research from Solar-Tectic LLC conducted with assistance from Binghamton University could increase both the efficiency and luminance of your TV and smartphone while lowering their cost.

When it comes time to buy something like a new TV, the casual consumer will be focused on the size of the screen while more tech-savvy consumers are interested in knowing things like if the display is LCD or OLED. Put simply, these display technologies determine the quality of the picture on the screen for not just TVs but also for smartphones, computers and tablets. While the market is currently dominated by LCD, both OLED and LCD use what are called thin-film transistors (TFTs).

These TFTs are typically produced using one of three processes: amorphous silicon (a-Si:H), low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) or Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide (IGZO). But a paper titled “High mobility crystalline silicon film growth below 600°C from an Au-Si eutectic melt for TFTs" and published in the academic journal Materials Letters suggests an opportunity to replace these processes, including the most popular process, LTPS, entirely.

Raman spectroscopy showing very high-quality crystalline silicon film growth at low temperature on an ordinary soda-lime glass, from the study conducted by the Binghamton University Centre for Autonomous Solar Power (CASP).

The technology was invented by the late Praveen Chaudhari, renowned materials physicist and recipient of the U.S. National Medal of Technology. Ashok Chaudhari, CEO of Solar-Tectic LLC, and Ratnakar D. Vispute of Blue Wave Semiconductors, Inc. oversaw and made the samples, exactly following P. Chaudhari’s recipe (now patented), which were then tested by Binghamton University’s Center for Autonomous Solar Power (CASP).

Assistant professor Tara P. Dhakal from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is the director of CASP and worked on the study as part of a partnership between businesses and the University called the Strategic Partnership for Industrial Resurgence (SPIR). Dhakal ’s graduate student Pravakar P. Rajbhandari was involved in the characterization of the silicon film provided by Solar-Tectic LLC.

“While the research provides a way to improve the quality of displays and lower cost, it can also improve the production of electronic devices like solar cells," explained Dhakal. Solar cells are Dhakal’s area of expertise. He recently received a prestigious NSF CAREER grant for his proposal to make a long-lasting solar cell out of perovskite.

This research is an example of how a connection between Dhakal’s area of research and Solar-Tectic LLC’s interests has created a breakthrough for the production of electronics through SPIR. The partnership was established to strengthen New York state’s small and mid-sized businesses by helping them apply technology solutions to make them more competitive and successful.

The SPIR program is currently accepting proposals from small or mid-sized businesses interested in gaining access to researchers and laboratories at Binghamton University.

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