Solar Energy AG subsidiary ersol Thin Film GmbH of Erfurt, Germany, and Schott Solar, of Alzenau, announced a research alliance to develop micromorphous technology for thin-film solar cells, for which they will share staff. Unlike amorphous thin-film modules, micromorphous thin-film modules have a double-layer structure comprised of amorphous and microcrystalline silicon films. The companies said this improves the ability to exploit sunlight, because the two silicon layers convert the entire light spectrum into power. Christian Koitzsch, managing director technology of ersol Thin Film GmbH, said, “We believe that this so-called micromorphous tandem cell can achieve up to 50 percent increase in module efficiency, and therefore also in the module yield in comparison to amorphous technology.” The companies have already launched amorphous thin-film technology in the 1.4 sqm Generation 5 format. Schott Solar has been marketing ASI thin-film modules for a number of years, and ersol sells Nova-T amorphous modules. Deposit plants already existing for amorphous production that permit conversion to the manufacture of microcrystalline cells; preliminary work already performed will enable the companies to be among the first to market the technology in Europe, they said.