News Article

Azur Space Orders Two Aixtron Reactors For Solar Cells

The firm will use the reactors to manufacture gallium arsenide based cells for terrestrial applications

Aixtron SE has a repeat order for further MOCVD systems from Azur Space Solar Power GmbH of Heilbronn, Germany.

The new contract is for two MOCVD systems to be dedicated to the growth of GaAs materials for the production of concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar cells for terrestrial applications.

Aixtron Europe’s service support team will install and commission the new reactors during the second half of 2012 in a cleanroom facility in Heilbronn.

Juergen Heizmann, Managing Director of Azur Space Solar Power GmbH, says, “Our existing Aixtron MOCVD systems have more than proved themselves, so now it is time to further expand production with two new systems. Adding more equipment from Aixtron has many advantages in terms of start-up speed, continuity and process transfer.

"It will also ensure a seamless and smooth transition to the next step in our strategic plans to move production to 6-inch wafers. This is a key step in the planned evolution towards high performance materials, but with the economic advantages of larger diameters. We therefore look forward to working with the Aixtron team," continues Heizmann.

Azur Space Solar Power GmbH is a developer and manufacturer of high efficiency solar cells for space and terrestrial applications; the latter based on the CPV concept. With over four decades of experience in space solar cell technology, its product range covers several types of silicon and III-V solar cells, including those on germanium wafers.

 CPV technology uses lenses to concentrate sunlight onto a small area of photovoltaic materials in order to generate electricity. Among its advantages, and in contrast to more conventional flat panel systems, CPV systems can be much less expensive to manufacture.

Maximising the commercial potential via the highest efficiency and lowest cost requires the ability to manufacture low-cost, light-concentrating optical systems and III-V materials. It is here that MOCVD systems such as the Aixtron platforms are bringing these objectives to commercial reality with many companies worldwide.

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