Patents by Inventor Dennis R. Hollars

Dennis R. Hollars has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Patent number: 10522695
    Abstract: A multilayer stack is described. The multilayer stack includes: (i) one or more inorganic barrier layers for reducing transport of gas or vapor molecules therethrough; (ii) an inorganic reactive layer disposed adjacent to one or more of the inorganic barrier layers, and the reactive layer capable of reacting with the gas or the vapor molecules; and (iii) wherein, in an operational state of the multilayer stack, the vapor or the gas molecules that diffuse through one or more of the inorganic barrier layers react with the inorganic reactive layer, and thereby allow said multilayer stack to be substantially impervious to the gas or the vapor molecules.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2019
    Assignee: VITRIFLEX, INC.
    Inventors: Ravi Prasad, Dennis R. Hollars
  • Patent number: 9947531
    Abstract: The present invention provides methods to sputter deposit films comprising alkali metal compounds. At least one target comprising one or more alkali metal compounds and at least one metallic component is sputtered to form one or more corresponding sputtered films. The at least one target has an atomic ratio of the alkali metal compound to the at least one metallic component in the range from 15:85 to 85:15. The sputtered film(s) incorporating such alkali metal compounds are incorporated into a precursor structure also comprising one or more chalcogenide precursor films. The precursor structure is heated in the presence of at least one chalcogen to form a chalcogenide semiconductor. The resultant chalcogenide semiconductor comprises up to 2 atomic percent of alkali metal content, wherein at least a major portion of the alkali metal content of the resultant chalcogenide semiconductor is derived from the sputtered film(s) incorporating the alkali metal compound(s).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: April 17, 2018
    Assignee: NUVOSUN, INC.
    Inventors: Dennis R. Hollars, Puthur Paulson, Don Person, Arthur C. Wall
  • Publication number: 20170372897
    Abstract: The present invention provides methods to sputter deposit films comprising alkali metal compounds. At least one target comprising one or more alkali metal compounds and at least one metallic component is sputtered to form one or more corresponding sputtered films. The at least one target has an atomic ratio of the alkali metal compound to the at least one metallic component in the range from 15:85 to 85:15. The sputtered film(s) incorporating such alkali metal compounds are incorporated into a precursor structure also comprising one or more chalcogenide precursor films. The precursor structure is heated in the presence of at least one chalcogen to form a chalcogenide semiconductor. The resultant chalcogenide semiconductor comprises up to 2 atomic percent of alkali metal content, wherein at least a major portion of the alkali metal content of the resultant chalcogenide semiconductor is derived from the sputtered film(s) incorporating the alkali metal compound(s).
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 17, 2015
    Publication date: December 28, 2017
    Inventors: Dennis R. HOLLARS, Puthur PAULSON, Don PERSON, Arthur C. WALL
  • Patent number: 9640710
    Abstract: An improved method for interconnecting thin film solar cells to form solar cell modules is provided, the method comprising using a flat metallic mesh formed from a thin metallic strip to provide a current collection grid over a thin film solar cell. The method is particularly useful for forming interconnections between thin film solar cells deposited on flexible substrates. The rectangular cross sectional shape of the mesh elements provides an increased area of electrical contact to the solar cell compared to the small tangential area provided by elements of circular cross section. Mesh elements can be made higher rather than wider to improve conductivity without proportionally increasing shading loss. Various coatings can be applied to the mesh to improve its performance, provide corrosion resistance, and improve its cosmetic appearance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 20, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 2, 2017
    Assignee: NuvoSun, Inc.
    Inventors: David B. Pearce, Bruce D. Hachtmann, Liguang Gong, Thomas M. Valeri, Dennis R. Hollars
  • Publication number: 20150060262
    Abstract: A sputtering system comprises a magnetron assembly for depositing liquid metal films on a substrate. The magnetron assembly comprises a horizontal planar magnetron with a liquid metal target, a cylindrical rotatable magnetron with a metal target and a set of one or more shields forming a chamber between the planar and the rotatable magnetron.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 10, 2012
    Publication date: March 5, 2015
    Inventor: Dennis R. Hollars
  • Publication number: 20150047698
    Abstract: A photovoltaic cell comprises a protective layer, a substrate adjacent to the protective layer, and a barrier layer adjacent to the substrate. The protective layer can comprise niobium, or a metal carbide, metal boride, metal nitride, or metal silicide. The barrier layer can comprise an electrically conductive material. The photovoltaic cell further comprises an absorber layer adjacent to the barrier layer. The absorber layer in some cases comprises copper indium gallium di-selenide (CIGS). The photovoltaic cell further comprises an optically transparent window layer adjacent to the absorber layer, and an electrically non-conductive aluminum zinc oxide (AZO) layer adjacent to the window layer. A transparent oxide layer is disposed adjacent to the AZO layer.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 16, 2013
    Publication date: February 19, 2015
    Inventor: Dennis R. Hollars
  • Publication number: 20140367250
    Abstract: A deposition system for depositing a thin film photovoltaic cell on a flexible substrate comprises an enclosure that is fluidically isolated from an environment external to the enclosure, and a plurality of deposition chambers in the enclosure. At least one deposition chamber of the plurality of deposition chambers comprises a magnetron sputtering apparatus that directs a material flux of one or more target materials towards a portion of the flexible substrate that is disposed in the at least one deposition chamber of the plurality of deposition chambers. A substrate payout roller in the enclosure provides a flexible substrate that is directed through each of the plurality of deposition chambers to a substrate take-up roller in the enclosure. At least one guide roller in the enclosure is configured to direct the flexible substrate to or from a given deposition chamber among the plurality of deposition chambers.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 18, 2013
    Publication date: December 18, 2014
    Applicant: NUVOSUN, INC.
    Inventors: Bruce D. Hachtmann, Josef Bonigut, Qing Qian, Dennis R. Hollars, Xiaodong Liu
  • Publication number: 20140360563
    Abstract: An improved method for interconnecting thin film solar cells to form solar cell modules is provided, the method comprising using a flat metallic mesh formed from a thin metallic strip to provide a current collection grid over a thin film solar cell. The method is particularly useful for forming interconnections between thin film solar cells deposited on flexible substrates. The rectangular cross sectional shape of the mesh elements provides an increased area of electrical contact to the solar cell compared to the small tangential area provided by elements of circular cross section. Mesh elements can be made higher rather than wider to improve conductivity without proportionally increasing shading loss. Various coatings can be applied to the mesh to improve its performance, provide corrosion resistance, and improve its cosmetic appearance.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 20, 2014
    Publication date: December 11, 2014
    Inventors: David B. Pearce, Bruce D. Hachtmann, Liguang Gong, Thomas M. Valeri, Dennis R. Hollars
  • Patent number: 8802479
    Abstract: An improved method for interconnecting thin film solar cells to form solar cell modules is provided, the method comprising using a flat metallic mesh formed from a thin metallic strip to provide a current collection grid over a thin film solar cell. The method is particularly useful for forming interconnections between thin film solar cells deposited on flexible substrates. The rectangular cross sectional shape of the mesh elements provides an increased area of electrical contact to the solar cell compared to the small tangential area provided by elements of circular cross section. Mesh elements can be made higher rather than wider to improve conductivity without proportionally increasing shading loss. Various coatings can be applied to the mesh to improve its performance, provide corrosion resistance, and improve its cosmetic appearance.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 3, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 12, 2014
    Assignee: NuvoSun, Inc.
    Inventors: David B. Pearce, Bruce D. Hachtmann, Liguang Gong, Thomas M. Valeri, Dennis R. Hollars
  • Publication number: 20140150843
    Abstract: A photovoltaic system comprises one or more shingle-like photovoltaic (PV) modules, each having a layer of optically transparent material adjacent to a layer of photoactive material configured to generate electricity upon exposure to light from the layer of optically transparent material. In some cases the layer of optically transparent material of each of the one or more shingle-like PV modules has a pattern of depressions in a shingle-like configuration.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 30, 2012
    Publication date: June 5, 2014
    Applicant: NUVOSUN, INC.
    Inventors: David B. Pearce, Dennis R. Hollars, Robert J. Cleereman
  • Publication number: 20140102891
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing improved thin-film solar cells entirely by sputtering includes a high efficiency back contact/reflecting multi-layer containing at least one barrier layer consisting of a transition metal nitride. A copper indium gallium diselenide (Cu(InXGa1-X)Se2) absorber layer (X ranging from 1 to approximately 0.7) is co-sputtered from specially prepared electrically conductive targets using dual cylindrical rotary magnetron technology. The band gap of the absorber layer can be graded by varying the gallium content, and by replacing the gallium partially or totally with aluminum. Alternately the absorber layer is reactively sputtered from metal alloy targets in the presence of hydrogen selenide gas. RF sputtering is used to deposit a non-cadmium containing window layer of ZnS. The top transparent electrode is reactively sputtered aluminum doped ZnO. A unique modular vacuum roll-to-roll sputtering machine is described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 12, 2013
    Publication date: April 17, 2014
    Applicant: MiaSole
    Inventor: Dennis R. Hollars
  • Publication number: 20140060648
    Abstract: A multilayer stack is described. The multilayer stack includes: (i) one or more inorganic barrier layers for reducing transport of gas or vapor molecules therethrough; (ii) an inorganic reactive layer disposed adjacent to one or more of the inorganic barrier layers, and the reactive layer capable of reacting with the gas or the vapor molecules; and (iii) wherein, in an operational state of the multilayer stack, the vapor or the gas molecules that diffuse through one or more of the inorganic barrier layers react with the inorganic reactive layer, and thereby allow said multilayer stack to be substantially impervious to the gas or the vapor molecules.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 27, 2012
    Publication date: March 6, 2014
    Applicant: VITRIFLEX ,INC.
    Inventors: Ravi Prasad, Dennis R. Hollars
  • Patent number: 8618410
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing improved thin-film solar cells entirely by sputtering includes a high efficiency back contact/reflecting multi-layer containing at least one barrier layer consisting of a transition metal nitride. A copper indium gallium diselenide (Cu(InXGa1-X)Se2) absorber layer (X ranging from 1 to approximately 0.7) is co-sputtered from specially prepared electrically conductive targets using dual cylindrical rotary magnetron technology. The band gap of the absorber layer can be graded by varying the gallium content, and by replacing the gallium partially or totally with aluminum. Alternately the absorber layer is reactively sputtered from metal alloy targets in the presence of hydrogen selenide gas. RF sputtering is used to deposit a non-cadmium containing window layer of ZnS. The top transparent electrode is reactively sputtered aluminum doped ZnO. A unique modular vacuum roll-to-roll sputtering machine is described.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 31, 2013
    Assignee: MiaSole
    Inventor: Dennis R. Hollars
  • Publication number: 20130213805
    Abstract: Rotatable magnetron sputtering apparatuses are described for depositing material from a target while reducing premature burn through issues. The rotatable magnetron sputtering apparatus includes electric coils wound on pole pieces to modulate the magnetic fields at the ends of the magnetron magnetic assembly. Changing the direction of electric current moves the sputtering region alternately around its normal central position to decrease the rate of erosion depth at the ends of the target material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 13, 2013
    Publication date: August 22, 2013
    Inventor: Dennis R. Hollars
  • Patent number: 8398834
    Abstract: Rotatable magnetron sputtering apparatuses are described for depositing material from a target while reducing premature burn through issues. The rotatable magnetron sputtering apparatus includes electric coils wound on pole pieces to modulate the magnetic fields at the ends of the magnetron magnetic assembly. Changing the direction of electric current moves the sputtering region alternately around its normal central position to decrease the rate of erosion depth at the ends of the target material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 2, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2013
    Assignee: Nuvosun, Inc.
    Inventor: Dennis R. Hollars
  • Publication number: 20120174967
    Abstract: A photovoltaic module includes a support member for securing a photovoltaic cell. The support member includes a plurality of holes extending through at least a portion of the support member. A mounting system includes a buss bar for coupling the photovoltaic module to a power transmission system.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 10, 2012
    Publication date: July 12, 2012
    Applicant: Nuvosun, Inc.
    Inventors: David B. Pearce, Dennis R. Hollars, Robert J. Cleereman
  • Publication number: 20110300661
    Abstract: An improved method for interconnecting thin film solar cells to form solar cell modules is provided, the method comprising using a flat metallic mesh formed from a thin metallic strip to provide a current collection grid over a thin film solar cell. The method is particularly useful for forming interconnections between thin film solar cells deposited on flexible substrates. The rectangular cross sectional shape of the mesh elements provides an increased area of electrical contact to the solar cell compared to the small tangential area provided by elements of circular cross section. Mesh elements can be made higher rather than wider to improve conductivity without proportionally increasing shading loss. Various coatings can be applied to the mesh to improve its performance, provide corrosion resistance, and improve its cosmetic appearance.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 3, 2010
    Publication date: December 8, 2011
    Applicant: NuvoSun, Inc.
    Inventors: David B. Pearce, Bruce D. Hachtmann, Liguang Gong, Thomas M. Valeri, Dennis R. Hollars
  • Publication number: 20110259418
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing improved thin-film solar cells entirely by sputtering includes a high efficiency back contact/reflecting multi-layer containing at least one barrier layer consisting of a transition metal nitride. A copper indium gallium diselenide (Cu(InXGa1-X)Se2) absorber layer (X ranging from 1 to approximately 0.7) is co-sputtered from specially prepared electrically conductive targets using dual cylindrical rotary magnetron technology. The band gap of the absorber layer can be graded by varying the gallium content, and by replacing the gallium partially or totally with aluminum. Alternately the absorber layer is reactively sputtered from metal alloy targets in the presence of hydrogen selenide gas. RF sputtering is used to deposit a non-cadmium containing window layer of ZnS. The top transparent electrode is reactively sputtered aluminum doped ZnO. A unique modular vacuum roll-to-roll sputtering machine is described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 30, 2011
    Publication date: October 27, 2011
    Applicant: MiaSole
    Inventor: Dennis R. Hollars
  • Publication number: 20110240468
    Abstract: Rotatable magnetron sputtering apparatuses are described for depositing material from a target while reducing premature burn through issues. The rotatable magnetron sputtering apparatus includes electric coils wound on pole pieces to modulate the magnetic fields at the ends of the magnetron magnetic assembly. Changing the direction of electric current moves the sputtering region alternately around its normal central position to decrease the rate of erosion depth at the ends of the target material.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 2, 2010
    Publication date: October 6, 2011
    Inventor: Dennis R. Hollars
  • Publication number: 20100276282
    Abstract: A method of manufacturing improved thin-film solar cells entirely by sputtering includes a high efficiency back contact/reflecting multi-layer containing at least one barrier layer consisting of a transition metal nitride. A copper indium gallium diselenide (Cu(InXGa1-X)Se2) absorber layer (X ranging from 1 to approximately 0.7) is co-sputtered from specially prepared electrically conductive targets using dual cylindrical rotary magnetron technology. The band gap of the absorber layer can be graded by varying the gallium content, and by replacing the gallium partially or totally with aluminum. Alternately the absorber layer is reactively sputtered from metal alloy targets in the presence of hydrogen selenide gas. RF sputtering is used to deposit a non-cadmium containing window layer of ZnS. The top transparent electrode is reactively sputtered aluminum doped ZnO. A unique modular vacuum roll-to-roll sputtering machine is described.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 13, 2010
    Publication date: November 4, 2010
    Applicant: MiaSole
    Inventor: Dennis R. Hollars