Patent Covers Natcore’s Foundational Technology for Growing Thin Films Necessary in Solar Cells, Semiconductors, Fiber Optics and Other Applications
Red Bank, N.J. – (May 10, 2010) – The U.S. Patent Office has awarded a patent to Natcore Technology Inc. (TSX-V; NXT; NTCX.PK) for its proprietary Liquid Phase Deposition (LPD) process for growing films on silicon.
Natcore’s LPD process makes it possible to grow a wide range of inorganic materials such as silicon dioxide-based films using a room-temperature, environmentally friendly chemical bath – thereby eliminating the need for harsh and expensive chemical vapor deposition (CVD) methods currently used in industry.
These silicon dioxide films are essential elements of semiconductors, fiber-optic components and solar cells, among other important uses. Natcore’s LPD process is expected to significantly lower manufacturing and environmental costs in many of these applications. The LPD process will also allow for the development of advanced materials and devices that would otherwise be destroyed during the high-temperature CVD process currently being used by industry.
The basic patent has been assigned the number 7,718,550 and will be issued on May 18. This U.S. patent award provides Natcore with intellectual property protection for its LPD invention in the world’s largest and most important market. Natcore’s LPD process had already been granted patent protection in Russia, and is currently in application in other major jurisdictions throughout the world.
“This patent for our signature LPD process strengthens Natcore’s position as a leader in green technologies that are changing the way the world produces energy,” said Chuck Provini, Natcore’s president and CEO. “It is this foundational discovery that allows us to grow revolutionary anti-reflective (AR) films for solar cells, and is the driving force behind our goal of creating super-efficient tandem solar cells.”
Brien Lundin, Natcore’s chairman, notes that “This technology holds tremendous promise not only for solar energy production, but also opens up new frontiers in semiconductors, optoelectronics, ophthalmology, environmental remediation and countless other exciting areas. It has always been our plan to explore and exploit these potential applications in due course.”
As a result of its acquisition of NewCyte Technology in December 2009, Natcore holds three other U.S. patents – one relating to film growth on fullerenes, a second concerning the creation of interfaces between nanoparticles and biological molecules or systems, and a third that has to do with the uses of silica-coated carbon nanotubes. A major area where this third patent can be used is for advanced low cost, high performance fuel cells. Natcore is continuing to work on patent applications for new technologies and applications being discovered and developed through its research programs at Rice University and Ohio State University.
Other Corporate Updates
• The Company is progressing toward a definitive joint venture agreement to create and fund Natcore China. Drafts of a definitive agreement have circulated between Natcore and the Zhuzhou Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone, with no instances of disagreement as to any of the terms. The High-Tech Zone is currently finalizing its list of prospective local partners for Natcore’s review and approval.
• Natcore’s research programs at Ohio State University and Rice University continue to advance its LPD technology and tandem solar cell research. Natcore expects to deliver updates on the progress of these programs in the near future.
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