Greentech Media and GTM Research have led the packin questioning the viability of amorphous silicon in photovoltaicapplications — especially in chronicling the spectacular faceplant of Silicon Valley semiconductor giant, Applied Materials, their customers, and their a-Si photovoltaic efforts.
We’ve been less dismissive concerning Oerlikon’s efforts in a-Si because in our many conversations with Chris O’Brien, Oerlikon Solar’s head of market development inNorth America, he’s insisted that business is strong and that theiraggressive cost targets are in reach.
According to O’Brien, Oerlikon has some key first-mover advantages, such as possessing alonger legacy in micromorph (tandem junction) and starting off with anefficiency advantage that became much more important when crystallinesilicon (c-Si) joined First Solar as cost leaders. O’Brien also citedtheir zinc oxide transparent conductive oxide material as an efficiencybooster, as well as a new reflective coating from DuPont that allowsthinner silicon layer thickness and reduces efficiency degradation.
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