Iowa professor sees potential for Idaho solar company

Six years ago, Vikram Dalal received $300,000 from the Micron Foundation. Now, the engineering professor thinks he's got solar technology that could allow Micron, a Boise, Idaho, company, to become a major solar energy company.

Dalal, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Iowa State University and director of the university's Microelectronics Research Center, has been getting support for his work on thin-film silicon-based photovoltaic technology from Micron for several years.

Micron has been working to get money to refurbish its fabrication plants in Boise and Nampa for either solar panels or light emitting diodes -- LEDs -- for high-efficiency lighting. Idaho has recommended $5 million of federal stimulus dollars go toward the effort.

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