×

Worldwide Partnership Between Air Liquide and Sixtron for Crystalline-Si Solar Cells

MONTREAL, May 10, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Air Liquide and Sixtron Advanced Materials today announced an exclusive partnership to promote and distribute advanced coating materials to crystalline silicon ("c-Si") solar cell manufacturers worldwide. This innovative Silexium(TM) technology will enable crystalline solar panel producers -- which today represent around 70% of all photovoltaic manufacturers -- to improve the performance of their solar cells and reduce costs/Wp without significant up-front capital investment.

This exclusive agreement will allow Air Liquide to complement its existing dedicated offer of advanced precursor materials and propose a new value-adding gas solution to its c-Si photovoltaic customers worldwide.

Sixtron is a Canadian company whose focus is developing scalable and cost-effective industrial coating systems that improve the performance of solar cells. The Silexium process solution combines proprietary precursor molecules with the SunBox(TM) gas generation system to deposit new solar cell films.

The agreement will leverage Air Liquide's leading position in the photovoltaic industry supply chain. Manufacturers of c-Si solar cells in more than 20 countries already benefit from Air Liquide materials management and on-site services infrastructure, enabling them to now rapidly deploy Silexium(TM) technology to mass production.

Peter Tyszewicz, President and CEO of Sixtron, said: "Air Liquide's number one market position will allow Sixtron to support the crystalline-silicon solar industry as it improves cell efficiency and reduces costs." Francisco Martins, Vice-President World Business Line Electronics of the Air Liquide Group, said: "This global partnership with Sixtron demonstrates Air Liquide strategic interest to provide its photovoltaic customers with the safest, most advanced and lowest cost-of-ownership Gases & Precursors solutions in the market. The photovoltaic market is at the crossroads of Energy and the Environment, two growth drivers of the Air Liquide group." This past January Sixtron announced its Silexium technology, a silane-free antireflective passivation coating that nearly eliminates LID in solar cells.

LID is a long-standing issue in the solar industry, reducing monocrystalline solar cell efficiency by up to 5 percent when first exposed to sunlight. Solar cells with a Silexium antireflective passivation coating exhibit as much as 88 percent less LID than solar cells with traditional silane-based SiN coatings.

A project to develop and demonstrate Sixtron's technology is financially supported by Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), an arm's-length, not-for-profit corporation created by the Government of Canada. The silane free Silexium antireflective coating technology is the first of several PV processing solutions that will be developed as part of the SDTC project.

About Sixtron Advanced Materials Sixtron is a private company focused on developing scalable and cost-effective industrial coating systems that improve the performance of solar cells and avoid the costs and hazards associated with shipping silane gas and handling it on-site at PV fabs. The proprietary Sixtron SunBox system delivers gas using industry standard PECVD equipment to deposit anti-reflective and backside passivation coatings on crystalline silicon solar cells. The company has worked closely throughout its product development with leading research organizations such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, CO and the University Center of Excellence for Photovoltaic Research and Education (UCEP) in Atlanta, GA. For additional information, visit www.sixtron.com.

About Air Liquide Air Liquide is the world leader in gases for industry, health and the environment, and is present in over 75 countries with 42,300 employees. Oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and rare gases have been at the core of Air Liquide's activities since its creation in 1902. Using these molecules, Air Liquide continuously reinvents its business, anticipating the needs of current and future markets. The Group innovates to enable progress, to achieve dynamic growth and a consistent performance.

With over 3,000 employees and EUR872 million revenue in 2009, Air Liquide Electronics has activities in ultra-pure and specialty gases, new molecules, related equipment and customized services. The Electronics division management is based in Tokyo to enhance its proximity to the semiconductor, TFT-LCD and PV markets in Asia.

SOURCE: Sixtron Advanced Materials CONTACT: Sixtron Advanced Materials Bates Marshall Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing +1-514-451-4594 bmarshall@sixtron.com Copyright Business Wire 2010 -0- KEYWORD: Quebec

Canada

France

Europe

North America INDUSTRY KEYWORD: Energy

Alternative Energy

Manufacturing

Engineering SUBJECT CODE: Contract/Agreement