Sydney, Australia-based BT Imaging (BTi), just announced a $3.8 million A2 funding round from Applied Ventures, the VC arm of Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT) along with investors Allen & Buckeridge and Uniseed.
BTi improves solar cell efficiency and manufacturing yields byapplying luminescence imaging to the manufacturing and testing ofsilicon wafers and solar cells.
BTi’s luminescence-imaging systems are used for research, product and process development, production manufacturing inspection, and qualitycontrol of silicon blocks, wafers, photovoltaic cells and PV modules.Originally developed at the University of New South Wales, BT Imaging’sphotoluminescence technology allows real-time electronic inspection ofevery wafer or solar cell processed through a manufacturing line.
BTi started out building R&D and lab equipment for testingcrystalline silicon solar cells. After shipping a number of R&Dtools, the feedback was that customers needed in-line tools. "In-situmonitoring capability is truly a gaping hole in PV manufacturing," said a colleague at an emerging PV cell firm. Applied Materials got interested in the firm when they saw the inline tools at a recent trade show inShanghai.