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Posted: January 14, 2009

Installation of World's First Silicon-Ink Based Solar Cell Pilot Production Completed

(Nanowerk News) Roth & Rau AG and Innovalight have completed the installation of the world’s first silicon-ink based solar cell production line. This first pilot manufacturing line has been built and installed at Innovalight, in Sunnyvale, California and has been qualified to operational capability over the last two months of 2008.
“The potential to lower costs by combining Innovalight’s silicon-ink platform and conventional silicon solar cell technology is very impressive”, commented Dr. Dietmar Roth, CEO of Roth & Rau AG, ”Combining the strength of Roth & Rau’s manufacturing expertise and Innovalight’s silicon nanotechnology has enormous potential in the marketplace”, he added.
The pilot line combines the qualities and cost benefits of crystal silicon wafer technology with elegant silicon-ink processing technology to produce low cost, high performance solar cells. Roth & Rau installed the majority of the solar cell manufacturing equipment which has been integrated with Innovalight’s custom proprietary inkjet printing platform and silicon-ink manufacturing systems. This first pilot manufacturing platform installed at Innovalight has the capability of producing 10 Megawatts of solar power and can be easily scaled to many hundreds of megawatts of electricity production.
“Roth & Rau has been a terrific partner to work with,” said Conrad Burke, President & Chief Executive at Innovalight. “They bring a great deal of manufacturing experience to this relationship as we continue to develop our technology toward commercialization,” he added.
About Roth & Rau Roth & Rau AG based in Hohenstein-Ernstthal is by market share one of the world’s leading suppliers of plasma process systems for the photovoltaics industry. Furthermore Roth & Rau supplies components and process systems based on plasma and ion beam technology for other sectors. Developed by Roth & Rau, these products are manufactured and distributed worldwide through the company’s photovoltaic and plasma and ion beam technology divisions. Roth & Rau’s photovoltaic division focuses on providing antireflective coating facilities as well as fully automated manufacturing lines (turnkey production lines) for the production of crystalline silicon solar cells.
Another focus is on the production of equipment for the coating of thin film solar modules. The plasma and ion beam technology division, which accounted for 6 percent of total sales in the 2007 financial year, produces plasma sources and ion beam sources as well as process systems for plasma and ion beam enhanced thin film and surface processing methods. Customers served by this division include, in particular, companies in the semiconductor and automotive industries, R&D departments in various industries including photovoltaics as well as research institutes and universities. Roth & Rau AG posted sales of EUR 146 million and EBIT of EUR 14 million pursuant to IFRS for the 2007 financial year and had an average of 190 employees. Sales in the first nine months of the year amounted to EUR 197 million, with EBIT coming in at EUR 21 million.
About Innovalight, Inc.: Innovalight is privately held and based in Sunnyvale, California. The company is developing a platform of low-cost, high-performance silicon-based solar cells based on silicon nanotechnology and ink-jet technology. Innovalight is venture capital backed by ARCH Venture Partners, Apax Partners, Convexa Capital, Harris & Harris Group, Inc., Scatec, Sevin Rosen Funds and Triton Ventures. Innovalight has also received funding from the United States Department of Energy. More information on Innovalight can be found at www.innovalight.com.
Source: Roth & Rau (press release)