February 8, 2011 -- Suniva, Inc., a U.S. manufacturer of high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells and modules, announced that its next-generation ARTisun Select series solar cells are in production. These screen-printed PV cells are achieving conversion efficiencies of 19%+. Suniva attains these efficiencies using a uniform single-sided emitter along with other proprietary innovations on the front side of the cell. Suniva is successfully leveraging ion implantation in the mass production of solar cells.
Suniva's intellectual property (IP) and proprietary processing capabilities, combined with several years of collaborative research and development on ion implantation technology, enables the company to bring ARTisun Select to the market and into full production. The use of ion implantation in Suniva's manufacturing process is based on years of development collaboration with Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates (NASDAQ: VSEA). Additionally, Suniva simplified its solar cell manufacturing process by eliminating two entire steps, which allows the company to more cost-effectively fabricate cells.
"Combined with Suniva's innovative R&D and proprietary processes, ion implantation provides us with a very cost-effective way to manufacture solar cells of 19% efficiency without adding complex processes for a selective emitter. We do have the capability to use a selective emitter, but we have not yet chosen to do so," said Dr. Ajeet Rohatgi, Suniva founder and CTO. "Our unique development process is what will ultimately enable Suniva to achieve efficiencies in the 20 percent range in our third generation cells on n-type wafer and maintain an equally attractive manufacturing cost."
The ARTisun Select product line is a logical progression on Suniva's technology roadmap towards its next generation products that are in its labs. This technology roadmap is built around multiple proprietary cell structures certified by NREL as achieving 20% efficiency. Suniva previously achieved industry-leading, certified efficiencies of more than 20% on screen-printed cells in the lab.
"Leveraging ion implantation in solar cell processing has traditionally proven too costly and slow. Combined with Suniva's deep research and our own proprietary design, recipes and processes, we have unlocked the value of the ion implanter as an enabling technology for solar cell processing. The result is an immediate 1% efficiency gain in ARTisun Select, and an ongoing reduction in our cell conversion costs," said Bruce McPherson, vice president of research and development for Suniva.
Suniva manufactures high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells and high-power solar modules using patented low-cost techniques. More information is available at www.suniva.com.