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Alternative Energy Suppliers Look to Nano-Manufacturing
Semiconductor International, Oct. 17, 2006
By Paula Doe

Developers of fuel cells, solar cells and next-generation lithium ion batteries are looking to new nano-manufacturing technologies to enable their smaller and cheaper solutions to generating energy. “The real issues now in the alternative energy world,” said Ged McLean, president and CTO at Angstrom Power (North Vancouver, B.C., Canada), “are all about nano-manufacturing.”

McLean’s company is looking for ways nano-manufacturing can improve its microstructured fuel cells. High-profile thin-film solar cell suppliers Nanosolar (Palo Alto, Calif.) and Konarka Technologies (Lowell, Mass.) are counting on nanostructured materials to enable printing their low-cost thin films on flexible substrates. And Angela Belcher’s group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, Cambridge, Mass.) is now focusing on getting its viruses to assemble alloys for electrodes for lithium ion batteries with much higher energy density.

SEMI is bringing these and other leading nanotechnology researchers and users together with the electronics process technology supply chain at its NanoForum, Oct. 30-Nov. 2 in San Jose, to discuss manufacturing issues in nano energy, biomedical, defense and electronics markets. “I’m firmly convinced that exposing the semiconductor world to the wide range of things going on in the nanotechnology world – and vice-versa – will be a very good thing for both sides,” said Alan Rae, vice president of marketing and business development for NanoDynamics (Buffalo, N.Y.) and chair of the committee organizing the meeting. “There are lots of things you come across being applied in another area and suddenly realize, ‘Wow, I see where this can be used in my area.'”

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