Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Improvements to Photovoltaic Cell Efficiencies(ST10595-1)

Ames Goldsmith Corp.


Photovoltaic (PV) cells are relatively inefficient, operating at efficiencies in the lower teens. Silver (Ag) based pastes consisting of silver powder and flake material mixed with glass frit, binders, and dopants are applied to the silicon (Si) wafers in the manufacturing of the solar cells. The contact resistance at the Ag-Si interface plays an important role in determining the electrical performance of the cell. Previous work has investigated how the resistance of the non-silver components of the paste affects this interface, but the effect of the silver flakes has not been investigated.

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Project Description

The proposed work will evaluate the use of new lubricants and solvents in the production of silver flakes, evaluate the use of new silver powders, evaluate the use of different milling technologies and media composition and sizes, and the new series of silver flakes will be performance tested at beta sites in PV cell pastes.


The potential increase in PV efficiencies that this technology could bring would help improve the economics of PV systems resulting in a reduction in the demand for energy produced through non-renewable sources such as oil and coal. Economic returns have the potential to exhibit within the workforce at Ames Goldsmith Corp. to maintain manufacturing, as well as in other manufacturing positions, and training and installation of the PV systems elsewhere.

Project Results

The project was not completed.


Ames Goldsmith Corp.
50 Harrison Ave.
South Glens Falls, NY 12803

Principle Investigator

Michael Herman

Universities Involved

Clarkson University


Project Type:

Product Development

Technologies Types:

Energy Power Supply

NYSERDA Contact Information

Jennifer Harvey


R&D -Transport & Power Systems

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST10595-1

Last Updated: 3/10/2014