Applied Films receives major contract for micromorph solar cell production equipment

(PresseBox) (Alzenau, ) As already announced beginning of June, Applied Films has received a major contract for its micromorph thin film solar cell production equipment. Under the contract, Brilliant 234., a 100% subsidiary of Q-Cells, has ordered three integrated vacuum coating systems for the production of micromorph solar cells. The systems deposit the TCO front contact film, the light-absorbing layer structure (a-Si/µc-Si) and the back contact. With this order, Applied Films has achieved a major success for its path-breaking solar cell manufacturing technology, which provides potential for significantly higher cell efficiencies and an opportunity the economic production of large area thin film cells. Micromorph technology is widely seen as superior technology for thin film solar cells. Cells manufactured with this technology evi-dence higher cell efficiencies as compared to amorphous solar cells owing to improved spectral sensitivity. Applied Films produc-tion technology for micromorph solar cells produces modules with surface areas of 1.4 sqm (1.5x0.9 m²). This rectangular substrate format allows the flexibility of designing modules with either high voltage/low current or low voltage/high current power modes. Fur-thermore, the Applied Films product portfolio enables cell manu-facturers to maximize their cell efficiencies by adjusting the pa-rameters of the TCO coating in interaction with the light-absorbing layer and back contact coatings. This approach has been devel-oped in close co-operation with the Institute of Photovoltaics at the Research Center in Jülich, Germany. The market share for thin film solar cells, currently at approx. 5%, is expected to grow strongly. Experts predict a 20% share of annual solar cell production by 2010. Fostering this growth is the current restricted supply of solar grade bulk silicon as a feedstock

material for wafer-based solar cells. "We are a leading supplier of large area coating equipment for the flat panel display and the architectural glass industry. Our experience here, underpinned by the cutting edge micromorph technology that we supply, will defi-nitely help us to benefit from the fast growing thin film PV market, and develop it further still." stated Joachim Nell, Executive Vice President Solar & Web, Applied Films. "In Applied Films, we have found one key production equipment partner which clearly drives innovation in solar cell manufactur-ing," states Anton Milner, CEO of Q-Cells. "We are on an uninter-rupted growth course, having reached global leadership in solar cell production in only five years. Continuous advancements in our technology and production processes are the key enablers of our success. These include our core business of silicon-wafer-based solar cells but also the commercialization of thin-film technologies. The great expertise of Applied Films in large area vacuum deposition processes will boost our drive towards our ambitious goals for the coming years." Applied Films is listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange (NASDAQ symbol: AFCO) and has recently signed an agreement with Applied Materials (AMAT) to acquire Applied Films.

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