Amtech Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASYS), a global supplier of production and automation systems and related supplies for the manufacture of solar cells, today provided further comment on the significance of its previously announced three-party research collaboration agreement between Amtech's Tempress® Systems Inc, subsidiary, Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited, one of the world's leading vertically integrated photovoltaic product manufacturers, and the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (“ECN”), a leading solar research center in Europe.
The joint project under the agreement endeavors to develop and implement high efficiency N-type silicon solar cells, named PANDA, at Yingli Green Energy's pilot production line in Baoding, China. The high efficiency cells will utilize the cell design of ECN, the solar diffusion technology and dry PSG removal expertise of Tempress, Amtech's solar subsidiary, and Yingli Green Energy's leading cell process technology.
The P-type silicon solar cell is the predominant solar cell used in today's market. The advantage of N-type silicon solar cells is that, among other things, unlike P-type silicon solar cells, there is virtually no sunlight induced efficiency degradation, which makes it a highly desirable cell product. The typical effect on efficiency from light induced degradation for P-type Czochralski (Cz) silicon solar cells is 0.5 to 1.0%.
J.S. Whang, President and Chief Executive Officer of Amtech, commented, “We are excited about this joint agreement with leaders in the industry and its potential to contribute to significant improvements in solar cell efficiency and bring solar energy closer to achieving grid parity. PANDA is true validation for our Tempress in-depth diffusion expertise and our capability for supplying reliable diffusion and automation equipment to the solar industry. Additionally, a European independent research and consulting firm, Yole Development, concluded that our Tempress® diffusion furnace had captured the number one position in terms of market share, or over 35 percent of the solar diffusion market.”
Amtech Systems, Inc. manufactures capital equipment, including silicon wafer handling automation, thermal processing equipment and related consumables used in fabricating solar cells and semiconductor devices. Semiconductors, or semiconductor chips, are fabricated on silicon wafer substrates, sliced from ingots, and are part of the circuitry, or electronic components, of many products including solar cells, computers, telecommunications devices, automotive products, consumer goods, and industrial automation and control systems. The Company's wafer handling, thermal processing and consumable products currently address the diffusion, oxidation and deposition steps used in the fabrication of solar cells, semiconductors, MEMS and the polishing of newly sliced silicon wafers.