Bert Thin Films LLC
Bert Thin Films, LLC (BTF) is a Louisville, Kentucky, startup company that helps reduce both the materials and manufacturing costs for solar cells. The company uses nanotechnology-enabled copper inks developed at the University of Louisville's Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research.
The research was supported by a a grant from the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Commercialization Fund. The company also received a Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant from the National Science Foundation, with UofL acting as the sub awardee.
The aim of the grant was to develop low cost copper inks for the metallization of crystalline silicon solar cells. Dr. Ruvini Dharmadasa, a research engineer with the company, said founders worked with the university to research and develop the nanoparticle inks and processes used to deposit the conductive contacts on crystalline silicon.
"The involvement of UofL allowed access to specialized facilities and additional resources in order develop the products," she said. "A State of Kentucky Matching Funds grant in addition to a start-up grant from Nucleus (University of Louisville Research Foundation’s startup incubator) has allowed BTF to build-up the research and development infrastructure of the company."