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Akrion, Inc. ("Akrion"), a supplier of advanced surface preparation equipment, and CEA-Liten (Laboratory of Innovation for New Energy Technologies and Nanomaterials), a French public technological research organization, have signed an agreement to collaborate on the development of silicon-based heterojunction solar cells until at least the end of 2009.
Akrion's system will provide pre-deposition surface conditioning for heterojunction solar cells as part of the research program on Liten's silicon solar cells technology platform localized in INES (French Institute for Solar Energy) in Le Bourget du Lac, France.
By using INES platforms, CEA-Liten conducts research on improving the performance of silicon photovoltaic cells by optimization of manufacturing processes and the introduction of new cell design based on micro and nanotechnologies. The Joint Development Agreement is focused on developing a specific heterojunction process to manufacture silicon solar cells at high efficiency -- up to 20% -- using a high productivity process.
The CEA (French Atomic Energy Commission), a public organization for technological research, carries out its missions in the domains of energy, information and health technologies and defense, building on the foundations of fundamental research at the highest level. Based mainly in Grenoble, CEA-Liten (Laboratory of Innovation for New Energy Technologies and Nanomaterials) and its 550 researchers aim at developing new energy technologies and focuses on three keys areas: solar energy for building, electrical technologies for transportation and nanomaterials. CEA-Liten is accessible to public laboratories and industry partnerships and exhibits semi-industrial facilities to ensure the rapid transfer of technologies and processes to commercial partners. CEA-Liten is the main contributor of INES platforms and has acquired in particular significant laboratory-scale know-how in high efficiency photovoltaic cells by using micro and nanotechnologies. INES (French Institute for Solar Energy), a center of excellence bringing French expertise and resources in solar energy technology together.
For more information about CEA-Liten see www.cea.fr
About INES: French Institute for Solar Energy
Created in 2006, INES is the main solar energy institute in France. It is located in Le Bourget du Lac (Savoie).
INES has three constituent parts or platforms: INES Education, which focuses on professional training; INES RDI (Research, Development, Innovation), which houses a number of research and development laboratories; and INES Demonstration (planned). INES RDI brings together laboratories from CEA-Liten, CNRS, CSTB and the University of Savoy, thus ensuring close links between fundamental and applied research. INES RDI's research interests cover both thermal and photovoltaic energy (silicon and organic solar cells, electric solar systems, innovative batteries for storage, test facilities, etc).
More than 100 researchers are now working there, and others will come as soon as new buildings will be operational. Their mission is to carry out research activities and to develop innovative solutions to increase the use of solar energy.
For more information about INES see www.ines-solaire.fr
About Akrion, Inc.
Akrion is a provider of advanced surface preparation systems used in the manufacture of semiconductor devices, solar cells and high resolution flat panel displays. The company's products, which include single-wafer and batch- immersion cleaning systems, are used in the production of a wide variety of semiconductor devices, including logic devices, analog devices, flash memory, DRAM and MEMS and are used to clean bare silicon and test wafers as well as photomasks. Headquartered in Allentown, Pa., Akrion's Allentown production facility is ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001:2004 certified for quality and environmental management and by OSHA's VPP STAR program for safety management.
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