Amtech Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: ASYS), a global supplier of production and automation systems and related supplies for the manufacture of solar cells, semiconductors, and sapphire and silicon wafers, today announced that its solar division, Tempress Systems, has joined Yingli Green Energy Holding Company Limited (NYSE: YGE) (“Yingli Green Energy” or the “Company”), a leading solar energy company and one of the world's largest vertically integrated photovoltaic (“PV”) manufacturers, which markets its products under the brand “Yingli Solar,” and the Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands (“ECN”), a leading solar research center in Europe, in a three-party research collaboration on the N-type Metal Wrap Through (“N-MWT”) PV cell and module technology. This joint project was an extension of Project PANDA, which was kicked off in 2009. As of the date of this press release, a cell efficiency of 19.7% and a module efficiency of 17.6% have been achieved in the laboratory, respectively.
The N-MWT PV cell technology is expected to reduce up to 40% of the metal coverage comparing to standard crystalline cells, which leads to approximately 1.5% relative cell efficiency gain. ECN has also shown that the PV modules based on N-MWT technology can be made with thin cells at high yield, which demonstrates the potential to reduce the wafer thickness and silicon consumption, leading to a large cost reduction potential.
J.S. Whang, Chief Executive Officer of Amtech, commented, "We are again pleased that the PANDA technology using our advanced diffusion technology, combined with MWT, is enabling Yingli to take the next step to higher module efficiencies. Partnering in technology solutions is part of our long-term strategy."
Yingli Green Energy announced the achievements of this three-party research collaboration in a press release dated September 7, 2011.About Amtech Systems, Inc. Amtech Systems, Inc. manufactures capital equipment, including silicon wafer handling automation, thermal processing equipment and related consumables used in fabricating solar cells, LED 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 LEDs and newly sliced silicon wafers.