One step closer to the Energy Transition with €3.5 million investment in Kalpana Systems

press release

Kalpana Systems has secured a €3.5 million investment from investors Fairtree Elevant Ventures, SIG InnoVentures and the Energy Transition Fund Rotterdam. This funding will enable the Delft-based machinery manufacturer to bring its revolutionary spatial Atomic Layer Deposition (sALD) technology to the market. This technique is essential for applying ultra-thin layers crucial for applications, such as next-generation solar panels, batteries and packaging. The machine developed by Kalpana Systems unlocks transformative advancements, with faster production speeds, reduced cost, and efficient use of valuable raw materials needed in the energy transition.

Production with atomic-level precision

Thin films and specialised coatings are the enabling technologies for many ground-breaking innovations, including OLED screens, solar cells and battery technology. To make these products more efficient, expand their lifetime, and miniaturise them further, it is critical that the thin film that is incorporated in the product, or covering the product, is of a consistent and high quality.

Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) has long been recognised as a powerful method for thin film deposition, where these coatings can be built up atom-by-atom and which can transform the performance of films and their applications. These coatings play a vital role in enhancing functionality and offering protection, such as improved electrical conductivity, corrosion resistance, and moisture protection for solar cells and catalysts. By precisely creating layers at the atomic scale, the machine optimises the use of costly materials, such as lithium, iridium, and copper, resulting in cost savings and material efficiency.

However, this process is slow and costly, and thin film deposition must occur rapidly and economically to facilitate large-scale adoption. Overcoming the challenge of delivering high production throughput with high quality can unlock transformative applications in energy storage, solar cells, flexible electronics, and sustainable packaging, all crucial to the Energy Transition. Kalpana Systems offers a solution to this challenge.

Clever design for broad range of production processes

Kalpana Systems has revolutionised the process by developing a machine capable of producing high volumes of thin films continuously using Spatial Atomic Layer Deposition (sALD). Through the innovation of the flexible substrate transport system, layers can be continuously deposited at high speeds, radically reducing the cost per square meter for each applied layer.

Kalpana Systems’ unique 3D helical design ensures consistent, high-quality sALD application at an industrial scale over extended periods, boosting the speed of existing ALD processes by a factor of 1000. Additionally, the machine’s design allows for seamless integration into existing production lines, making it versatile for a wide range of applications. Kalpana Systems aids companies in incorporating the proven applications of sALD into scalable and profitable production processes. This paves the way for applications from more cost-effective, lighter, and more efficient flexible solar cells, to longer-lasting, high-performance batteries.

CEO of Kalpana Systems, Diederick Spee, stated, “With our machine producing thin layers quickly, efficiently, and affordably, we enable promising technologies to become viable. The boost to the energy transition that Kalpana Systems can provide is now within reach with this capital injection from Fairtree, SIG, and the Energy Transition Fund Rotterdam.”

Frederic Petit, Partner at Emerald Technology Ventures and SIG’s investment advisor: “The uniqueness of Kalpana’s roll-to-roll technology lies in its high volume, throughput, and rapid production time. This sets them apart from other providers in the market and allows for wide market adoption including packaging applications.”

David Evans, Managing Director at Fairtree Elevant Ventures, said, “Kalpana Systems has an incredibly talented team and ground-breaking technology which can crack ALD at scale. Kalpana is now bringing their technology to market, and we look forward to supporting them on this exciting journey. Their success can contribute to significant advancements in the production of next-generation technology, such as batteries, solar cells and packaging worldwide”.

Mathijs van Rijk, Senior Investment Manager at the Energy Transition Fund Rotterdam, adds, “ Kalpana is a crucial player in the region with the potential to make a substantial impact across various industries.”

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