New process for thin film growth offers promise for major advances in solar energy, semiconductors, fiber optics and other industries.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA–(Tuesday, May 19, 2009)- Natcore Technology Inc. (TSX-V: NXT) today announced the resumption of trading on the Toronto Venture Exchange, under the symbol NXT.
As previously announced, Syracuse Capital Corp., a capital pool company, acquired all of the issued and outstanding securities of Natcore Technology, Inc. in a Qualifying Transaction that closed on May 8, 2009.
As a consequence of the acquisition, the Company is continuing the business of Natcore, and now controls a new process for thin film growth with important applications in solar energy, semiconductors, fiber optics and many other industries.
“We are excited to begin this remarkable new era for our company and the industries it will impact,” said Chuck Provini, Natcore’s president and CEO. “Our underlying technology, our internal scientific team and our research relationships with Rice University and one of the world’s most respected science and technology laboratories could have compelling implications for the alternative energy industry in general and the solar power industry in particular. We feel our technology could, for the first time, make solar energy efficient enough to finally fulfill the dream of clean, affordable power.”
Natcore’s Chairman, Brien Lundin, noted, “Our first priority is to advance the comprehensive research and development program that we have planned. In the days ahead, we will refine our existing applications and explore the potential for exciting new applications, such as super-efficient tandem solar cells, that our process offers.”
About Natcore Technology
Natcore Technology has an exclusive license to commercialize patent pending technology, licensed from Rice University, that enables the controlled deposition of silicon dioxide and mixed silicon oxides from a liquid solution at room temperatures and pressures.
Natcore’s first products are planned for the rapidly growing silicon solar cell manufacturing industry, where its technology presents two immediate and compelling applications:
1) It can significantly reduce silicon usage in solar cell manufacturing, thereby decreasing costs, improving margins and boosting throughput.
2) It has the potential to allow, for the first time, mass manufacturing of low-cost tandem solar cells with twice the efficiency of the best solar cells available today.
Natcore’s “Liquid Phase Deposition” (LPD) process enables the growth of thin oxide films on silicon substrates in a mild chemical bath at ambient temperatures and pressures, eliminating the need for the high-temperature, vacuum furnaces currently necessary for the production of these films.
This relatively mild process will now allow the use of much thinner silicon wafers in solar cell and semiconductor manufacturing, as well as the development of advanced materials and devices that would otherwise be destroyed during the high-temperature Thermal Oxide Growth process currently being used by industry.
In particular, Natcore has filed a provisional patent covering the application of its LPD process to the manufacture of tandem solar cells incorporating matrices of silicon quantum dots. These tandem cells could boost silicon solar cell efficiencies to over 30 percent – or approximately twice the power output of today’s highest efficiency cells.
Natcore’s LPD process was discovered at Rice University by Professor Andrew Barron, and has been successfully validated and refined in an industrial laboratory setting at one of America’s most respected independent laboratories. In addition to discovering the LPD process, Prof. Barron has, in conjunction with Dr. Dennis Flood, directed the further development of the technology and its independent validation at that laboratory.
Currently the Charles W. Duncan, Jr.-Welch Endowed Chair of Chemistry and Professor of Materials Science at Rice University, Dr. Barron was a co-founder of Natcore in 2003, and will continue as a technical consultant to the Company.
The former Chief of the Photovoltaic and Space Environments Branch at the NASA Glenn Research Center, Dr. Flood presently serves as Chair of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Photovoltaic Devices Technical Committee. Dr. Flood was also a co-founder of Natcore in 2003, and will continue as a technical consultant to the Company.
Natcore’s Business Model
At the outset, the Company’s business model will revolve around licensing of its technology to industry.
In the solar power industry, for example, manufacturers such as First Solar (FSLR), Suntech Power Holdings (STP), Energy Conversion Devices (ENER) and SunPower (SPWRA) are constantly working to lower costs and increase the efficiencies of their solar cells.
Initially, Natcore will not attempt to directly compete with manufacturers in the production of solar cells. Rather, it will license its process to manufacturers seeking to lower production costs and significantly increase the efficiencies of their solar cells.
To advance this business model, the Company’s initial goal will be the production of prototypes for a super-efficient tandem solar cell and a cartridge-based, LPD system for the in-line production of thin films of silicon dioxide (as the necessary anti-reflective coatings for solar cells, and as dielectric layers for semiconductors).
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