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  • Corning, Oerlikon Boost PV Cell Efficiency 11.9%
Sep 2010
CORNING, N.Y., Sept. 7, 2010 — Corning Inc. and Oerlikon Solar announced today that they achieved a record-breaking 11.9 percent stabilized conversion efficiency in a silicon-tandem, research-sized photovoltaic cell that combines Corning's thin specialty glass with Oerlikon's Micromorph thin-film silicon solar modules.

The resulting solar cell’s energy conversion efficiency exceeds the current 11.7 percent industry record, set in 2004, and was achieved without the use of antireflective coating, the companies said. Results were confirmed by the Washington-based National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

The milestone is particularly significant in the advancement of thin-film photovoltaics, a rapidly progressing segment of the fast-growing solar energy industry. Increasing conversion efficiency, or the rate at which sunlight energy is converted into electric current, is a key industry challenge.

“The 11.9 percent efficiency achievement is an important step forward in thin-film innovation for our customers,” said Dr. Jurg Henz, CEO, Oerlikon Solar. “We look forward to continued work with Corning on a roadmap to advance this technology to cell efficiencies of 12 percent and beyond.”

The newly developed photovoltaics research cell combines the advanced light-trapping capabilities of Corning’s specialty glass and Oerlikon Solar’s proprietary Micromorph technology, which uses a zinc oxide low-pressure chemical vapor deposition front contact.

More information and research details were presented today by Dr. Julien Bailat of Oerlikon Solar at the 25th Annual European Photovoltaics Solar Energy Conference and the 5th World Conference on Photovoltaic Energy Conversion in Valencia, Spain. A presentation on the topic of photovoltaics glass reliability will also be presented by Dr. James Webb of Corning on Tuesday at the same conference.

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