From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nanosolar
Industry Solar Energy
Founder(s) Martin Roscheisen
Headquarters San Jose, California, U.S.
Geoff Tate (CEO)
Products Solar panels
Revenue US$3,100,000 (2007) 
Nanosolar is a developer of solar power technology. Based in San Jose, CA, Nanosolar has developed and commercialized a low-cost printable solar cell manufacturing process. The company started selling panels mid-December 2007, and plans to sell them at around $1 per watt (when first announced that was just one fifth the price of the silicon cells, but in 2010 brand name silicon cells sell from around $1.70 reducing Nanosolar's cost advantage significantly).Contents
1 Financial backers and manufacturing
4.1 CIGS (copper indium gallium diselenide)
4.2 Other thin film
6 External links
Financial backers and manufacturing
Nanosolar was started in 2002 and is headquartered in San Jose, California. The company has received financing from a number of technology investors including Benchmark Capital, Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google. Nanosolar received the largest amount in a round of Venture Capital technology funding amongst United States companies during Q2 2006, with 100 million USD of new funding secured. It also received the largest amount of financing of any private company in 2008 (USD 300 million in Q1).
Nanosolar planned to build a large production facility in San Jose and in Germany, with an annual capacity of 430 megawatts. Nanosolar is also building a panel manufacturing plant in Luckenwalde (Berlin). Several German energy and venture capital companies have heavily invested in this company as a consequence of the favourable economics for solar energy in Germany due to government subsidies.
On December 12, 2007 the company announced that it had started solar cell production in its San Jose factory, with its German facility slated to go into operation in the 1st quarter of 2008. The company said in 2006 that the San Jose factory, when fully built, would have the capacity to produce 430 megawatts of cells each year.
On December 18, 2007 the company began shipping its first solar panels for a one-megawatt municipal power plant in Germany.
As of 2008 Nanosolar has raised about 500 million USD in total funding by private investors Benchmark Capital, Mitsui Ventures, Mohr Davidow Ventures, OnPoint, Capricorn Management, Firelake Capital Management, GLG Partners, Grazia Equity, Swiss Re, Beck Energy, Omidyar Network, Lone Pine Capital, Energy Capital Partners, Riverstone Holdings, EDF, The Skoll Foundation, EDS (HP) and The Carlyle Group.
On March 22, 2010, former Rambus CEO Geoff Tate was named CEO, replacing co-founder Martin Roscheisen who had been the company's Chairman & CEO for the past eight years; no reason was given for Roscheisen's exit. EVP Operations is Werner Dumanski who previously led IBM's $4.5 billion storage-disk manufacturing; and co-founder and VP Corporate Development Brian Sager, a biotech veteran who has advised more than 50 high-growth companies.
The company uses copper indium gallium diselenide—which achieves up to 19.9% efficiency in laboratory samples—to build their thin film solar cells. The company's technology gained early industry recognition with the presentation of a Small Times Magazine award at a leading nanotech business event in 2005. Nanosolar's solar cells have been verified by NREL to be as efficient as 14.6% in 2006 and 15.3% in 2009. Technical details of Nanosolar's new manufacturing techniques have been disclosed in patent applications. Some information about their process has become available in a Scientific American article (in German).  These details involve a semiconductor ink that it claims will enable it to produce solar cells with a basic printing process, rather than using slow and expensive high-vacuum based thin-film deposition processes. The ink is deposited on a flexible substrate (the “paper”), and then nanocomponents in the ink align themselves properly via molecular self-assembly. In September 2009, Nanosolar announced the launch of production at a rate of 640 MW annually; however, ramp-up to volume production after the announcement took an additional six months, limiting actual production in 2009 to an estimated 4 MW, and as of August 2010 the plant is still ramping up toward its announced capacity. Since the hiring of new CEO Geoff Tate, the company has declined to discuss its actual manufacturing capacity, but has said that its target for 2010 is to ship panels for "several ... megawatt-size projects" and "[build] panels for projects that have been identified that can help build the case for an operating history and bankability in 2011." Efficiencies for current production panels are said to be 8-9%, with plans to submit panels with 10-11% efficiency for IEC certification in the fall of 2010.
Nanosolar has developed a suite of in-house capabilities for creating nanostructured components based on various patented and patent-pending techniques. It uses nanostructured components as the basis for creating printable semiconductors, printable transparent electrodes, novel forms of advanced nanocomposite solar-cell design and powerful new forms of barrier films.
According to the company, "leveraging recent science advances in nanostructured materials, Nanosolar has developed a proprietary ink that makes it possible to simply print the semiconductor of a high-performance solar cell. This ink is based on Nanosolar developing various proprietary forms of nanoparticles and associated organic dispersion chemistry and processing techniques suitable for delivering a semiconductor of high electronic quality."
Two advantages over earlier technologies is that a printing process is quick and also makes it easy to deposit a uniform layer of the ink, resulting in a layer with the correct ratio of elements everywhere on the substrate. Also, the ink is printed only where needed, so there is less waste of material. Last, the substrate material on which the ink is printed is much more conductive and less expensive than the stainless steel substrates that are often used in thin-film solar panels.
These solar cells successfully blend the needs for efficiency, low cost, and longevity and will be easy to install due to their flexibility and light weight. Estimates by Nanosolar of the cost of these cells fall roughly between 1/10th and 1/5th  the industry standard per kilowatt.
The company implies that their solar cells can last more than 25 years by saying they "achieve a durability compatible with our 25-year warranty." They recently commissioned a study by Black and Veatch that finds their 25-year warranty to be compatible with their module design.
CIGS (copper indium gallium diselenide)
Global Solar said that its CIGS cells from its factory had reached an average efficiency of 10 percent .
HelioVolt Corp. said it had produced CIGS cells with efficiency as high as 12.2 percent on a pilot line.
GroupSat Solar has noted that it can produce CIGS cells with a 12.5 percent and an average efficiency of 10 percent in full production efficiency.
Ascent Solar said that its CIGS cells from its factory had reached an average efficiency of 19 percent
See also Copper indium gallium selenide#Companies for a more complete listing.
IBM invented and is developing a hydrazine-based process that produces ~12% CIS 
DayStar Technologies, Inc. said that its CIGS cells from its factory had reached an average efficiency of 14 percent .
Other thin film
Thin-film manufacturer First Solar (cadmium-telluride thin films) .
^ Nanosolar, Inc Yahoo Finance
^ Vidal, John (December 29, 2007). "Solar energy 'revolution' brings green power closer". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
^ Markoff, John (2007-12-18). "Nanosolar". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
^ "Nanosolar". ubergizmo. Retrieved 2007-12-31.
^ "Venture Capital Funding". Investor's Business Daily. 2006-07-24.
^ "Nanosolar Selects Manufacturing Sites". 2006-12-12.
^ Bright Days for NanoSolar
^ "Nanosolar announces start of thin-film production". 2007-12-12.
^ Nanosolar Ships First Panels from Nanosolar Blog
^ Crunchbase: Nanosolar Techcrunch Wiki
^ Semiconductor Veteran Geoff Tate Named CEO of Nanosolar, Inc. from Nanosolar Blog
^ I. Repins, M. A. Contreras, B. Egaas, C. DeHart, J. Scharf, C. L. Perkins, B. To, and R. Nouﬁ., 19.9%-efficient ZnO/CdS/CuInGaSe$_2$ solar cell with 81.2% fill factor. Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications, 16(3):235–239, February 2008
^ "Small Times Magazine announces Best of Small Tech Awards at leading nanotech business event". Small Times Magazine. 2005-02-11.
^ a b "Printing Solar Cells (in German)". Bild der Wissenschaft (Scientific American). 2007-01-10.
^ "NREL Certifies 15.3% Nanosolar Foil Efficiency". 2009-09-09.
^ Nano-architected/assembled solar electricity cell US Patent 6,852,920, Nanosolar Inc, February 8, 2005
^ Nanosolar Completes Panel Factory, Commences Serial Production from Nanosolar Blog
^ a b c d e Tom Cheyney (August 3, 2010). "Exclusive: Nanosolar rising, Part I—One-time thin-film PV lightning rod gets its focus on". PV-Tech.org.
^ a b "Who will deliver on the promise of the leading thin-film recipe for converting sunlight into electricity?". Photon International. July 2010. pp. 134–143.
^ Tom Cheyney (August 6, 2010). "Exclusive: Nanosolar rising, Part II—The ‘I’ in CIGS also stands for thin-film PV innovation". PV-Tech.org.
^ Nanocomponents from Nanosolar website
^ Nanoparticle Ink from Nanosolar website
^ Coated nanoparticles and quantum dots for solution-based fabrication of photovoltaic cells US Patent 7,306,823, Nanosolar Inc, December 11, 2007
^ "Manufacturing Plans". San Jose Mercury News. 2006-06-21.
^ Designed To Last from Nanosolar website
^ a b http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/qa-global-solar-vps-dish-thin-film-details-718.html
^ "12% Efficiency CuIn(Se,S)2 Photovoltaic Device Prepared Using a Hydrazine Solution Process"
Nanosolar company website
Nanosolar company blog
Nanosolar, the Printable Solar Cell
Top Innovation of the Year 2007
"At $1 per Watt, the iTunes of Solar Energy Has Arrived" article from SolveClimate.com
Solar energy 'revolution' brings green power closer
NanoSolar Germany - Largest Solar Farm
Thin-film solar cells heading for $1 per Wp