CeNS Finds Way to Cut 80% Production Cost of Transparent Conducting Glass used in Solar Cells

Amid high demand for transparent conducting glasses (TCG) with high light transparency, the researchers from the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS), Bengaluru has found a new method of fabrication of TCG that will trim around 80 per cent of its cost of production against current technology.

sheet resistance

It will help in reducing the cost of manufacturing of smart windows, touch screens, solar cells etc.

The Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS), Bengaluru is an autonomous institute of the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India.

The scientists from the CeNS institute has developed a novel recipe for fabrication of TCG which brings down its production cost by 80 per cent as compared to tin-doped indium oxide (ITO) based technology which is currently in use, and their current achievement has also been published in the journal Materials Chemistry and Physics.

Generally, industrially relevant transparent conducting glasses came up with conducting coatings such as tin-doped indium oxide (ITO) with a few hundred nanometres of thicknesses, where significant cost is attached to the slow deposition rates adopted for high-quality films.

However, this newly fabricated TCG consists of metal mesh on a glass substrate with thin over layers of metal oxides.

It is also having an attractive design as the hybrid electrode possesses the excellent conductive property of the metal mesh (having a sheet resistance of about 5 ohms/square) while offering an oxide surface finish for the conductive glass, which makes it relate well with the existing industry requirements based on ITO.

Moreover, the team of scientists lead by Prof. G U Kulkarni, along with his co-workers from CeNS and industrial partner Hind High Vacuum (HHV) Pvt. Ltd. have set-up a semi-automated production plant funded by DST-Nanomission in CeNS-Arkavathi campus for production of low-cost TCG, said the Science & Technology Ministry.

Commenting on the development, Dr. Ashutosh K Singh, Scientist-C at CeNS, who is working on this project, said that “we are fabricating various prototypes such as transparent heaters, transparent Electromagnetic Interference shields, smart window, etc. based on TCG to showcase its potential applications. Further, these electrodes have been sent out for field tests in various industries and R&D laboratories”.

Furthermore, these TCGs have been exhibited in various prestigious meetings and conferences such as Bengaluru INDIA NANO-2018 & 2020, ICONSAT-2018 & 2020, SPIE-2019, etc. for dissemination and marketing purpose and are also available for onsite testing and validation purposes.

On the back of its low-cost processing cost, this TCG has the potential to bring down the overall production cost of devices like smart windows, touch screens, solar cells, and so on.

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Manu Tayal

Manu is an Associate Editor at Saur Energy International where she writes and edits clean & green energy news, featured articles and interview industry veterans with a special focus on solar, wind and financial segments.

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