Amtech Systems Enters Into R&D Agreement for In-Line Solar Diffusion Furnace System

Partners Include Solland Solar and ECN (The Energy Research Centre of The Netherlands)


Amtech Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:ASYS), a global supplier of production and automation systems and related supplies for the manufacture of solar cells, semiconductors, and silicon wafers, today announced that its subsidiary, Tempress(R) Systems, Inc., has entered into a research agreement to develop an in-line or conveyor diffusion furnace system for the solar industry. The research collaboration team consists of Tempress, Solland Solar (Solland), a leading European solar cell producer, The Energy Research Centre of The Netherlands (ECN), a leading solar research center in Europe where a market leading PECVD product was developed, and a leading global chemical company.

As part of this research collaboration, Tempress will provide its solar diffusion expertise, along with its conveyor furnace manufacturing experience, and is expected to retain worldwide manufacturing and marketing rights to the new conveyor furnace. A portion of the research and development costs are expected to be reimbursed in the form of grants from the Dutch government, with the first reimbursement payment having already been received.

J.S. Whang, President and Chief Executive Officer of Amtech Systems, said, "We believe that expanding our product offerings to include in-line diffusion furnace systems along with our proven batch diffusion furnace systems will provide significant additional growth opportunities for us within the rapidly growing solar market. With our diffusion expertise and the expertise of our R&D partners, we expect to bring to market an in-line diffusion furnace system that will deliver excellent process results that the solar industry is looking for. We are targeting introduction of our own in-line diffusion system by calendar 2010."

About Amtech Systems, Inc.

Amtech Systems, Inc. manufactures capital equipment, including silicon wafer handling automation, thermal semiconductor processing equipment and related consumables used in fabricating solar cells and semiconductor devices. Semiconductors, or semiconductor chips, are fabricated on silicon wafer substrates, sliced from ingots, and are part of the circuitry, or electronic components, of many products including computers, telecommunications devices, automotive products, consumer goods, and industrial automation and control systems. The Company's semiconductor handling, thermal processing and consumable products currently address the diffusion, oxidation and deposition steps used in the fabrication of solar cells, semiconductors, MEMS and the polishing of newly sliced silicon wafers.

About Solland Solar

Solland Solar is a Dutch-German manufacturer of solar cells. The company produces standard solar cells and is expected to produce in the future Back-contact Solar Cells. Solland makes use of innovative production methods. Research focuses on solar cell cost reduction, solar cell efficiency improvement and improvement of production methods. The Solland website is

About ECN

ECN is the largest research center in the field of energy in the Netherlands. ECN's technology is used in the production of solar cells, as well as other alternative energy sources. ECN takes the results of basic research conducted at universities and develops practical application of that knowledge and technology. ECN is located near Petten, the Netherlands, and employs approximately 900 people. The ECN website is

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Source: Amtech Systems, Inc.