Li Han and Dennis Valbjørn Christensen from DTU Energy won the Venture Cup 2015. Photo: Hannibal-Bach

Young researchers from DTU won Venture Cup with a new material for touchscreens

Thursday 29 Jan 15

Contact

Dennis Valbjørn Christensen
Researcher
DTU Energy
+45 20 96 19 46

Team Sensol Power

Students of DTU Energy were part of three of the 18 teams in the finals of Venture Cup Idea Competition.

Dennis Valbjørn Christensen and Li Han won the category Product & Technology under the name ”Transparent World”.

DTU Energy-team Startak also got to the finals in Product & Technology. The team had specialized in design and manufacture control systems to orient photovoltaic panels (or any other type of solar receiver) towards the Sun, thereby increasing the energy yield by up to an additional 35%.

Team SenSol got to the finals in the category Cleantech & Environment. Here the PhDstudent Emil Bøje Lind Pedersen of DTU Energy and the three PhD-students Rebecca Ettlinger, Sara Engberg and Andrea Crovetto from DTU Fotonik told of their idea to use CZTS solar cells to power micro sensorer under the motto: ”A smarter world with smarter power”. A novel solar cell technology that is completely non-toxic.

Venture Cup

Venture Cup is a nationwide non-profit organization that seeks to discover and develop university startups. Venture Cup represents all Danish universities and engage professionals from the private and public sector in the development of the startups.

Read more about Venture Cup

The young researchers Li Han and Dennis Valbjørn Christensen from DTU Energy won Venture Cup Idea Competition in the category Product & Technology with a new inexpensive material for solar panels and touchscreens.

Two young researchers at DTU Energy have developed an inexpensive material that is both transparent and an excellent electrical conductor at the same time. The materials may thus be able to substitute the widely used but 150 times more expensive indium tin oxide (ITO) in touchscreens and solar panels.

The researchers, postdoc Li Han and Ph.D.-student Dennis Christensen, presented their idea, business case and their plan for growth at Venture Cup Idea Competition in the city hall of Odense and won the category Product & Technology and the prize of DKK 25,000 kr.

”We had a good feeling after presenting our idea and material for the jury. We had four minutes to deliver our sales pitch followed by 15 minutes of cross examination, where the jury probed the possibilities of our idea and its merits. That part was really good and we won the category”, says Dennis Valbjørn Christensen.

"We have made a lot of new connections to the industry through Venture Cup, but we are moving forward with our research in the meantime."
Li Han and Dennis Valbjørn Christensen who won the Product and Technology-category at Venture Cup

“But we got a bit nervous in the second part with all the winning teams presenting in front of 150 people, so we didn’t win the People’s Choice Award.”

Venture Cup is a nationwide non-profit organization that seeks to discover and develop university startups, engaging professionals from the private and public sector in the development of the startups with mentors, idea development and networking. The intention is to increase the number of experienced entrepreneurs and start-ups, as well as promoting innovation in Denmark. Of the approximately 500 candidates some 18 teams of students and young researchers are selected to participate in Venture Cup.

In the autumn 2014 Dennis Valbjørn Christensen and Li Han took reached the finals in the European cleantech business idea competition CleanLaunchPad with their idea. With the win in Venture Cup they are now strengthened in their resolve to move forward with their project.

The two young researchers have developed new Zinc Oxide (ZnO) Based Materials that may be able to substitute the expensive ITO in touch screens and solar panels. Transparency and electrically conductivity are normally contradicting properties. For example, metals have good conductivity but no transparency, while glass is transparent but electrically insulating. However, the ZnO based materials discovered by the team have both properties, which is very much in demand by the companies making solar cells or tablets and smartphones. Also the new materials are 150 times cheaper and have the same properties.

“We have made a lot of new connections to the industry through Venture Cup, but we are moving forward with our research in the meantime. Right now we research in a new ZnO-material and new ways of depositing the thin layers”, explains Dennis Valbjørn Christensen and Li Han, who is currently financially backed by their department, DTU Energy.