Leading Edge Equipment has raised capital for its novel silicon wafer manufacturing equipment. ” data-reactid=”19″>Only a few weeks after the successful public offering of Array Technologies proved that there’s a market for technologies aimed at improving efficiencies across the solar manufacturing and installation chain, Leading Edge Equipment has raised capital for its novel silicon wafer manufacturing equipment.
Prime Impact Fund, Clean Energy Ventures and DSM Venturing, and the company said it would use the technology to ramp up its sales and marketing efforts. ” data-reactid=”20″>The $7.6 million financing came from Prime Impact Fund, Clean Energy Ventures and DSM Venturing, and the company said it would use the technology to ramp up its sales and marketing efforts.
maybe this time will be different.” data-reactid=”21″>For the last few years researchers have been talking up the potential of so-called kerfless, single-crystal silicon wafers. For industry watchers, the single-crystal versus poly-crystalline wafers may sound familiar, but as with many things with the resurgence of climate technology investment, maybe this time will be different.
Silicon wafer production today is a seven-step process in which large silicon ingots created in heavily energy-intensive furnaces are sawed into wafers by wires. The process wastes large amounts of silicon, requires an incredible amount of energy and produces low-quality wafers that reduce the efficiency of solar panels.
Using ribbons to produce its wafers, Leading Edge’s manufacturing equipment uses the floating silicon method to reduce production to a single step, consuming less energy and producing almost no waste, according to the company.
Leading Edge Equipment was founded by longtime experts in the silicon foundry industry — Alison Greenlee, a quadruple-degreed graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who worked on floating silicon method that reduces waste in the manufacturing of silicon for solar cells; and Peter Kellerman, the progenitor of floating silicon method technologies.
had been mothballed by Applied Materials after years of research.” data-reactid=”28″>The two founded Leading Edge Equipment to rejuvenate a project that had been mothballed by Applied Materials after years of research.
The two won $5 million in federal grants and raised an initial $6 million from venture capital firms in 2018 to kick off the technology.
Leading Edge expects that its equipment could become the standard for silicon substrate manufacturing.