Silane powders are used in important applications
in the microelectronics industry. For example, amorphous solar cells
made with silane powders are being used increasingly in consumer
goods as replacements for batteries. Unfortunately, solar cell efficiency
drops rapidly after production. Silane powders can also be used
as catalysts for chemical conversion.
This project was aimed at developing new
amorphous silicon deposition processes for the manufacture of photovoltaic
solar cells. The new cells display efficiencies of 10 % and more,
compared to the 4 % seen in cells produced by conventional means.
The availability of more efficient solar cells is likely to have
a significant impact on European energy consumption, and the low
cost of this thin layer technology opens the doors to more widespread
use of renewable energy.
In addition, high-efficiency catalysts
for the low temperature conversion of methane in burners were also
developed. Low temperature catalysts will mean increased energy
efficiency of gas burners, i.e. reduced heating costs and a reduction
in carbon-oxide production. Further developments are now underway
with regard to industrial applications.