Collaborative research receives 2016 TechConnect National Innovation Award

April 27, 2016 - Collaborative research on "Purification of Thin Film Solar Cell Absorber Materials" conducted in the Department of Chemistry and Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science (CEMS) at the University of Minnesota has received a 2016 TechConnect National Innovation Award. Researchers involved in the project include Chemistry professor Lee Penn, Chemistry graduate student Alexander Pinto, CEMS post-doctoral scientist Seung Wook Shin, and CEMS professor Eray Aydil, the Ronald L. and Janet A. Christenson Chair in Renewable Energy. Identified in the top 15% of all submitted technologies, as ranked by the TechConnect Corporate and Investment Partner Committee, this technology seeks to provide a safer, easier and more effective method for removal of copper sulfide impurities in thin film solar cell materials such as Copper Zinc Tin Sulfide (CZTS) and Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS). Specifically, the new method is potentially more cost-effective than current methods and uses less toxic solvents that are easier to handle.

Innovation rankings are based on the potential positive impact the submitted technology will have on a specific industry sector. Innovations are submitted from global academic technology transfer offices, early-stage companies, small business innovative research (SBIR) awardees, and government and corporate research laboratories. The award-winning collaborative research will be recognized at the TechConnect National Innovation Summit occurring in May 2016 in Washington, D.C.

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