Researchers from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and MIT, published a review article on Micro-Scale Concentrating Photovoltaics, or micro-CPV, a new technology that uses miniaturized solar panels and optics that concentrate the sun's energy into these micro panels. The benefits of micro-CPV compared to normal solar panels include potentially lower cost (much less solar absorption area), better thermal management, shorter optical path and lower resistive losses.
There are many challenges yet before micro-CPVs can be produced in large volume and at competitive prices. Interestingly, microLED production processes can be applied to the production of micro-CPVs, as these solutions can be seen like inverted technologies - tiny devices that either absorb or emit light.
The article introduces these challenges and technologies, with an emphasis on transfer processes. As with microLEDs, the production of micro-CPVs requires the transfer of many small-scale devices from an original wafer to a substrate, with a pitch enlargement. The article details four transfer technologies - eLux's fluid Assembly, XDC/X-Celeprint's Elastomer stamp process , PARC's roll-stamp transfer and K&S/Uniqarta's laser transfer.
The article acknolwedges the fact that there are many more production processes - and indeed our MicroLED Transfer guide details over 28 different companies and processes.
Micro-CPVs may offer an interesting opportunity for microLED developers, especially transfer process developers (but not just these) in the future.