IDTechEX Selects M3D Aerosol Jet Systems as Best New Manufacturing Technology Enabling Production of Higher Efficiency Solar Cells

Albuquerque, New Mexico November 26, 2007: Optomec announced today that the company has won the IDTechEx Technical Development Manufacturing Award for their M3D Aerosol Jet Deposition System that will be used for high volume printing of collector lines on solar cells. The M3D system is a fine feature, non-contact printed electronics solution for solar cell manufacturers that can print narrower lines with higher yields. Dave Ramahi, President and CEO of Optomec states “We are honored to be recognized for our development of a printed electronics manufacturing system for the production of higher efficiency solar cells. We believe that Solar Cell manufacturing is just the first of many printed electronic applications where Optomec’s M3D Aerosol Jet solution will provide breakthrough production capabilities.”

The Printed Electronics Awards are hosted by IDTechEx, a leader in providing independent global research and analysis on the development and application of printed and potentially printed electronics. Dr. Peter Harrop, IdTechEx Chairman states that “The judges were impressed by the many advantages that the Optomec process has over ink jet printing, which is currently the preferred process for printed electronics”. The Awards recognize company innovation, success and development. Winners were announced on Tuesday, November 13th at the Printed Electronics USA conference in San Francisco.

Recently, Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems (ISE) demonstrated that M3D Aerosol Jet can produce more efficient solar cells using versions of commercial screen printing pastes. On average, the M3D printed cells were 0.7% more efficient than screenprinted cells – reaching a maximum efficiency of 18.3% when combined with Light Induced Plating and Annealing. For this volume production application, Optomec has developed a high throughput 40-nozzle Aerosol Jet deposition head that prints a solar cell every 2.5 to 3 seconds. The non-contact nature of the M3D Aerosol Jet system enables high yield printing on thinner photovoltaic wafers.

Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing systems for high-performance applications in the Electronics, Biomedical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec’s proprietary M3D aerosol-jetting technology and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of industry-leading manufacturers.

LENS is a registered trademark of Sandia Corporation.

M3D is a registered trademark of Optomec.