SNEC 2011: Applied Materials unveils selective emitter, wire saw innovations

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Applied Materials reports on a new selective emitter solution and unveils its upgraded wire-saw technology at the SNEC PV Power Expo, taking place this week in Shanghai. The company (located at Hall W1, Booth 560) also announced that its Precision Wafering Division has shipped its 2000th wire saw to the solar manufacturing industry.

The selective emitter (SE) approach uses Esatto technology incorporated on Applied Baccine integrated cell platforms, which the company says offers customers a rapid, low-risk route to fabricate SE structures. The new solution incorporates a high-precision imaging system, custom screens, optimized dopant paste technology developed with Honeywell Electronic Materials, and dedicated process support.

The new SE technique has shown the capability to raise absolute cell efficiencies by more than 0.5% at multiple customer sites, according to Applied.

The company is also showcasing its upgraded wire-saw technology at SNEC, with the introduction of a new, high-strength structured wire capability for the Applied HCT Squarer. The new structured wire increases cutting speed by 70%, resulting in a 30% reduction in total system cost of ownership, the company said.

Applied's technologists are also optimizing structured wire technology for the HCT B5 wire saw, said to be used by more solar wafer manufacturers than any other similar system.

The structured wire approach is designed to deliver immediate and significant productivity and performance advantages when extended to wafering applications on both new and existing HCT B5 tools, according to Applied.

The company also revealed its Precision Wafering Systems division has shipped its 2000th wire saw. Half of these shipments were for the HCT B5 tools, representing sufficient capacity for manufacturing over 10GW of solar cells each year.

Applied Materials said it has seen significant market momentum for its B5 wire saw, including recent orders totaling more than 250 additional systems from four large wafer manufacturers in China.

Charlie Gay, president of Applied Materials Solar, noted the strong connection between China and the company.

 “Applied Materials is committed to helping China in its efforts to increase domestic solar use in accordance with its five-year plan–and we have built the world's largest privately-funded solar R&D center in Xi'an to support this effort.”

 “We are the leading supplier of PV equipment and services to China and currently have over 120 solar customers in this region. The benefits of our collaborative approach with customers have earned us three awards from major Chinese solar producers in recent months. We will continue to use our advanced technology and global service infrastructure to enhance our customers' success.”

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