August 12, 2008 — Silicon Genesis Corporation (SiGen), a provider of engineered substrate process technology, has signed a collaboration and equipment supply agreement with Renewable Energy Corporation (REC) (www.recgroup.com), a producer of polysilicon and wafers for solar applications in Oslo, Norway. Under the terms of the agreement, REC will evaluate thin-PV substrate samples made using SiGen’s PolyMax “kerf-free” wafering process. REC will also collaborate with SiGen to develop and optimize high-volume manufacturing (HVM) equipment and develop silicon ingot shaping requirements.
The agreement also includes commercial terms under which SiGen will supply an allocation of its HVM production equipment to REC.
SiGen has successfully completed an initial phase under the agreement by delivering to REC 125mm wafer samples of 50um thickness with excellent yield, mechanical and electrical characteristics. A design phase is ongoing to develop high-volume manufacturing equipment that can convert silicon ingots into thin silicon wafers ranging from 150um to 50um in thickness.
SiGen will present details of the PolyMax wafering process at the upcoming 23rd European Photovoltaic Conference (September 1-5, Valencia Spain). A joint paper with REC will also be presented describing major high-volume manufacturing system design guidelines.
Francois Henley, president and CEO of Silicon Genesis, said: “We are very pleased to be working with REC to evaluate our PolyMax wafering technology. REC, as the world’s leading vertically integrated manufacturer of photovoltaic materials, cells and modules is an ideal partner in this endeavor.”
“We are excited to work together with SiGen to develop and industrialize this new technology,” added Erik Sauar, senior vice president technology and CTO of REC. “Provided we can reach sufficient scalability and productivity in the new manufacturing equipment and that all the remaining developments are equally successful as the first phase, this should enable us to manufacture next-generation PV wafers and cells with high efficiency at an even lower cost than with today’s sawing processes.”