Aerotaxy®:  A New Way to Make Molecules

Gallium arsenide has been used in performance-category solar modules for years because of its high conversion efficiencies. The challenge has always been its high cost relative to other solar materials. The photonic effect of our nanowires and the low cost of Aerotaxy production of Solfilm™ minimizes the cost by dramatically reducing the amount of gallium arsenide and other expensive materials required to generate electricity. The gallium arsenide nanowires in Solfilm™ consist of only a small number of atoms, but are fully-functioning solar cells.

We produce our gallium arsenide nanowires through an economical, high-throughput process called Aerotaxy® invented by company founder and Lund University professor Lars Samuelson. Nanowires and nanotubes are typically produced through an epitaxial process, i.e. slowly grown as crystals in low pressure/high temperature environments on silicon or sapphire substrates. Because of the inherent physical limits of the epitaxial process, nanoparticles often need to be grown in place or harvested and sorted in batch processes that can be both time-consuming and expensive.

Aerotaxy® creates nanomaterials by suspending active materials in gases intermingled in precisely controlled environment. The suspended materials bond to form larger, uniform structures: nanowires are literally grown in space. Aerotaxy™ generates nanowires within milliseconds and can produce them on a continuous basis at comparatively low temperatures.

The finished nanowire film can be integrated into solar panels or stored indefinitely. A 2012 paper published in Nature details how Samuelson and his team manufactured gallium arsenide nanowires with Aerotaxy®.