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Photovoltaic Technology Research Laboratory Opens

With the purpose of teaching the science and engineering of solar energy and partnering with industry to research methods for producing more-efficient and lower-cost solar cells, the Lee College of Engineering has opened the new Photovoltaic Technology Research Laboratory. Located in the Energy Production and Infrastructure Building, the photovoltaic lab is under the direction of Dr. Aba Ebong, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

The production laboratory equipment includes a RTP2 rapid thermal belt furnace, an in-line diffusion furnace and a screen printing system. The production lab can fabricate solar cells using the exact same methods as industry. A computational modeling and solar cell testing laboratory is also part of the new photovoltaic facility. On the educational side, the facility provides students the chance to see how solar cells are produced from start to finish.

$300K NSF Award to Accelerate Commercialization

The UNC Charlotte proposal for a Ventureprise Charlotte Launch program was selected as an NSF I-Corps Site in a nationally competitive solicitation by the National Science Foundation. The selection also designates UNC Charlotte as one of 36 universities that are part of the NSF National Innovation Network.

"The NSF selection of UNC Charlotte as an I-Corps Site validates our long-standing investment in entrepreneurial support," said Robert Wilhelm, vice chancellor for research and economic development. "The Ventureprise Charlotte Launch program will provide 90 or more UNC Charlotte students with in-depth technology commercialization knowledge that will be valuable throughout their careers."

The Ventureprise Charlotte Launch program is designed to inspire teams whose technology concepts are likely candidates for commercialization. Teams will assess business opportunities for research and inventions primarily developed by UNC Charlotte students and faculty.