Beneq provides nanotechnology-enabled functional coating solutions based on Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) and the company’s proprietary atmospheric nHALO® and nAERO™ aerosol coating technologies. Customers are mainly concentrated in the cleantech and renewable energy fields, with a particular focus on glass, photovoltaics, and emerging thin film markets.
Established in 2005 as a spin-off, Beneq’s history is rooted in the fibre optics industry and chemical vapour deposition. Today, its technologies and equipment are used by a much wider range of customers in areas such as solar power, architectural glass, flexible electronics, biomedicine, jewellery, and displays. A number of universities and research centres have also selected Beneq as a partner for advanced research in the nanotechnology field.
Beneq has steadily extended its ALD-based products, which are primarily intended for producing accurate, pinhole-free, and highly conformal thin-film coatings for both existing and new industrial applications. The company has also put its expertise to work to develop a robust method for preventing silver objects, such as coins, medals, jewellery, and silverware from tarnishing.
In addition, Beneq has developed two unique technologies of its own: nHALO® and nAERO™.
Innovative aerosol coating technologies
Glass, ceramic tiles, and certain metals can be enhanced with a variety of functional coatings thanks to nHALO®. A flame spray technology that can be employed with both on-line and off-line processes, nHALO® can modify the surface layer of glass by allowing nanoparticles to diffuse into the glass matrix or deposit particles on to the surface of glass and other materials.
|Beneq’s TFS 500 coating unit, combined with the company’s nSILVER® technology, gives silver items a thin, transparent, pinhole-free, sapphire-like coating that protects them against tarnishing.
The nAERO™ aerosol-based coating system offers an efficient, high-throughput method for producing a robust, high-quality TCO coating on glass for solar applications and low-e coatings for architectural glass manufacturing. Depositing submicron droplets directly on to hot glass results in a highly uniform film. Rapid diffusion – combined with the accelerated evaporation rate and large surface area of the aerosol – ensures that coating growth rates are high. As the deposition process can be scaled up easily, nAERO™ is well-suited to a variety of glass production and post-processing activities.
Improving photovoltaic efficiency
Beneq offers production and R&D systems for all major solar cell technologies to help enhance solar cell efficiency and productivity.
Surface passivation of c-Si solar cell wafers improves their efficiency by a 1-2%-unit increase by increasing the effective lifetime of their charge carriers. ALD coating technology can be used to produce cadmium-free CIGS solar cells with a Zn(O,S) buffer layer offering efficiencies that meet or exceed the performance of traditional CIGS solar cells based on a CdS buffer layer.