Teaming up, IMEC’s research centers for photovoltaics and energy company BP Solar demonstrate an 18% conversion efficiency for silicon solar cells made of BP Solar’s recently-developed Mono2 silicon. Combining IMEC’s processing techniques with BP Solar’s low-cost substrates, the companies believe that Mono2 has a viable potential to become a new base material for low-cost highly-efficient solar cells. According to the companies, the production process delivers a promising new wafer platform for solar cells with the potential to become a low-cost alternative to the more expensive Czochralski silicon substrates. This is because the process combines low-defect densities and high conversion efficiencies with production costs that are comparable to traditional multi-crystalline substrates. The solar cells are 130 µm thick and cover an area of 156 mm x 156 mm. For further information, call IMEC Inc., San Jose, CA at (408) 551-4502 or visit http://www.imec.be.