Amtech Systems, Inc., a global supplier of production and automation systems and related supplies for the manufacture of solar cells, semiconductors, and silicon wafers, today announced that its subsidiary, Tempress® Systems, Inc., has entered into a research agreement to develop an in-line or conveyor diffusion furnace system for the solar industry.
The research collaboration team consists of Tempress, Solland Solar (Solland), a leading European solar cell producer, The Energy Research Centre of The Netherlands (ECN), a leading solar research center in Europe where a market leading PECVD product was developed, and a leading global chemical company.
As part of this research collaboration, Tempress will provide its solar diffusion expertise, along with its conveyor furnace manufacturing experience, and is expected to retain worldwide manufacturing and marketing rights to the new conveyor furnace. A portion of the research and development costs are expected to be reimbursed in the form of grants from the Dutch government, with the first reimbursement payment having already been received.
J.S. Whang, President and Chief Executive Officer of Amtech Systems, said, "We believe that expanding our product offerings to include in-line diffusion furnace systems along with our proven batch diffusion furnace systems will provide significant additional growth opportunities for us within the rapidly growing solar market. With our diffusion expertise and the expertise of our R&D partners, we expect to bring to market an in-line diffusion furnace system that will deliver excellent process results that the solar industry is looking for. We are targeting introduction of our own in-line diffusion system by calendar 2010."