Oerlikon Solar Continues to Make Headway on a-Si Technology

Reporting from the Intersolar show in San Francisco– When last we spoke with Chris O’Brien of Oerlikon Solar in April ofthis year, Oerlikon was plugging away, selling amorphous silicon (a-Si)photovoltaics manufacturing equipment to a number of customers.  Thefirm was working on improving efficiency and throughput against thebackdrop of a rather high profile struggle by a-Si competitor AppliedMaterials.  Applied Material’s customers are declaring bankruptcy (Sunfilm) and backing out of factories (Signet).

Since then Applied has de-emphasized its a-Si efforts and sent ana-Si team to China to work on a Chinese fab-to-farm project, whileOerlikon continues to make some headway with this technology.  They’renot the only one — Sharp is absolutely committed to a-Si, Astroenergyin China is working on this, and we just heard from a stealth startup,also working in a-Si that is boasting efficiency potentials in the lowteens.  We will be checking on that.

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