Firms Announce Breakthrough in the Manufacture of CdTe on SiliconMay 9, 2008
Sunovia and EPIR have discovered a method to rapidly produce the material, which will greatly reduce the cost of high-efficiency solar cells and night-vision detectors and cameras.
SARASOTA, FL /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Sunovia Energy Technologies Inc. and EPIR Technologies Inc. (EPIR) are pleased to announce an unprecedented breakthrough in the manufacturing of single crystalline cadmium telluride (CdTe) grown by molecular beam epitaxy on silicon (Si), known as CdTe/Si. The companies have discovered a method to produce single crystalline CdTe/Si more rapidly than ever achieved before in any lab, even for a single isolated sample. The results have been independently validated and are readily reproducible with an extremely high yield and an unprecedented high crystal quality. This breakthrough paves the way for continued progress toward the large-scale manufacturing and commercialization of single crystalline epitaxial CdTe/Si, which the companies believe, as of today, has no competitors. This breakthrough again demonstrates the companies' continuing role as the leading developers of advanced night vision materials and ultra-high-efficiency solar cells based on CdTe/Si.
This breakthrough validates the first reproducible, high-yield growth of high-quality CdTe/Si suitable for commercial manufacturing. The companies believe that this development alone will greatly reduce the cost of high-efficiency CdTe-based solar cells and night vision detectors and cameras. The breakthrough also dramatically improved the crystal quality of the CdTe produced. "It created improvements in the crystal quality of three-inch CdTe wafers more than twice as great as all of the improvements achieved over the last decade." In addition, the improvement in uniformity across the wafer is even more striking than the great improvement in crystal quality at the center of the wafer. This indicates a high likelihood of being able to move rapidly to the commercial large-scale manufacturing of even larger area CdTe/Si wafers, further lowering costs and speeding up production. This is of prodigious importance to the companies' solar cell manufacturing program because that program has single crystal CdTe/Si as its fundamental base for creating even more efficient cells.
As explained in previous Sunovia press releases, the development of high-efficiency infrared materials and devices and that of photovoltaic devices are very similar, except that infrared device manufacturing is much more precise and difficult.
"I am very pleased for the shareholders and investors of Sunovia and EPIR to announce this unprecedented breakthrough," stated Dr. Siva Sivananthan, President and CEO of EPIR Technologies Inc. "This accomplishment is a direct reflection of the incredible talent at EPIR, and the team-first attitude we share with Sunovia," added Sivananthan.
About Sunovia and EPIR
Sunovia Energy Technologies Inc. and EPIR own significant equity interests in one another. Sunovia is a Sarasota, FL–based renewable energy and energy conservation company that is working to develop one of the most advanced and cost-effective CdTe solar cell technologies ever created. Sunovia is also the owner of the proprietary EvoLucia LED lighting product line; the energy efficient LED lighting solutions have received CE, FCC, TUV, and IP23 regulatory approvals, and are now being marketed worldwide.
"Illinois-based EPIR is one of the most advanced IR sensor and imaging companies in the world. EPIR's knowledge, experience, and expertise in the growth of CdTe, HgCdTe, and other II-VI semiconductors equal or exceed those of any other company in the world. Their prowess in this area is unmatched and has been endorsed by the award of unprecedented congressional funds for the development of a manufacturing capability for CdTe on Si and the award of a patent for growing CdTe directly on a Si readout integrated circuit, as well as other patents." Although currently entering manufacturing to maximize the profit from its distinguished R&D, EPIR is committed to protecting its strong R&D and technology base and is maintaining close collaborative relationships with Department of Defense, industrial, and university laboratories. EPIR is now ramping up its manufacturing of CdTe on Si and is manufacturing high-quality HgCdTe infrared material, using the CdTe on Si as a low-cost substrate. In addition, EPIR has developed a portfolio of specialty sensors that it has begun to produce, including a variety of IR sensors and a biosensor and decontamination system.
Perhaps most important, EPIR now has leveraged its great expertise in the manufacturing of II-VI semiconductor materials and optoelectronic devices to enter the rapidly expanding field of solar energy. The same techniques learned in the growth of military-grade infrared materials are now being successfully applied to the production of solar cells. High-sensitivity infrared materials produced at low cost by EPIR are being used to obtain high solar cell efficiencies at low cost. EPIR's immediate plans include the manufacturing of solar cells for space applications and concentrator systems.
More information about this exclusive partnership may be viewed in the company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The Sunovia Energy logo is a registered service mark of Sunovia Energy Technologies Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Sunovia Energy products and services are provided by Sunovia Energy Technologies Inc.
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