Veeco Instruments Inc. of Plainview, N.Y., announced today that it has become a charter member in the CPV Consortium, an industry organization that supports the development of the concentrator photovoltaics industry, with the goal of providing a low-cost, reliable source of renewable energy. Concentrator photovoltaic (CPV) cells, referred to as multijunction or III-V cells, boast significantly higher efficiencies than traditional photovoltaic systems. In addition to Veeco, which makes LEDs, solar and data storage process equipment and metrology instruments, CPV Consortium charter members include Solfocus, 3M, Concentrix, Emcore, ISFOC and Isofoton. "CPV cells provide energy conversion efficiencies much higher than traditional silicon cells -- approximately 35 percent today, with planned efficiencies over the next few years moving into the 45 percent range, as compared to 13-18 percent efficiency for silicon cells," said Sudhakar Raman, vice president, marketing of Veeco's MOCVD (metal organic chemical vapor deposition) operations. "Veeco is aligned today with all of the leading CPV manufacturers to help pursue these future efficiency gains."