solexant.bmpSolexant, a Sunnyvale start-up that uses nanotechnology to make solar cells more efficient, has raised an angel round of less than $1 million, and will demonstrate the technology within the next few months.

Solexant integrates its nanostructured material with standard silicon, so that solar cells can capture energy from a part of the sun’s light spectrum that has eluded pure-silicon solar cells so far. That spectrum is the infrared range of 800-2,000nm.

Solexant’s chief executive Damoder Reddy said he expects the Solexant cells to double solar cell efficiency and decrease the cost of solar cells by more than 30 percent. He’s aiming to bring the cost down to $2 per Watt, including loaded equipment cost.

Solexant wants to manufacture the cells and sell them to companies that integrate solar cells and panels for the roof-top installation process.

He said the exact material being used remain secret for now, but that it is similar to the thin-film material being used by Nanosys and others. However, no other company is using the same approach as Solexant, he said. After demonstrating his product, he plans to raise $5 million within the next three to six months to build out a pilot production line. Already, half a dozen VCs have indicated they are interested if he can show the product works, he said.

He has a small team of four employees, and an extra three part-timers.

(This story was first posted 11/22)