Enhancing the efficiency of silicon based solar cells with bio-based material from algae – step 1

It has been shown that shells from algae, so called frustules, have the ability to intervene and manipulate visible light. The objective of this study is to verify the hypothesis that the frustules ability to interact with electromagnetic radiation can be utilized to fabricate solar cells with substantially enhanced efficiency.

The project also aims to develop and suggest an optimal business model for rapid industrialization and market penetration in the case of a positive outcome of the hypothesis. Hence, the proposed project aims to pave the way for SAFAB as a supplier of bio-based materials to the global photovoltaic industry. The total addressable market for SAFAB within photovoltaics is estimated, with 2018 years figures, to be in the range of 5-15 billion, with an expected annual growth of 15-20% coming decades. The magnitude of the market means that substantial positive effects can be anticipated as a result of the project, of both regional and global character, should the hypothesis be verified.


Swedish Algae Factory AB (SAFAB) and Stiftelsen Chalmers Industriteknik (CIT).

Budget & time plan

The project’s budget is 1 000 000 SEK and runs until December 2019.

Read about Enhancing the efficiency of solar cells with bio-based material from algae – Step 2.