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New Lead- and Cadmium-Free PV Materials from Ferro Enable Reduced Silicon Use in Multi-Crystalline Solar Cells

VISTA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 5, 2006--Solar cell manufacturers will be able to significantly reduce silicon usage with new materials developed by Ferro Electronic Material Systems. A compatible lead- and cadmium-free system of novel aluminum, rear silver, and front silver metallizations offers improved electrical performance on silicon wafers that are less than 180 microns thick. Ferro (NYSE:FOE - News) is launching the products at the 21st European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, held in Dresden, Germany, September 4-8, in Hall 2, Stand 35.

The current generation "thin" wafers are 240 micron thick. Ferro's new aluminum product permits further silicon reductions to less than 180 microns thick, with less than 1 mm of camber on 150 mm square wafers. It provides the same BSF thickness at a higher concentration of dopant for a strong BSF (carrier concentration of more than 1019 atoms/cm3), with equivalent or better electrical performance on multi-crystalline wafers.

Ferro's compatible new lead free front and rear silver metallizations provide improved electrical performance and are able to contact emitters with sheet resistivity of 50 to 70 ohms/square. The products also offer improved solderability, and adhesion of more than 800 gms using a 4 mil tabing ribbon. Front silver products are also available in a Hot Melt option for peak performance and line resolution.

Ferro Electronic Material Systems has locations in Vista, CA, Penn Yan, NY, South Plainfield, NJ, Uden, The Netherlands, Hanau, Germany, and Tsukuba, Japan. Its products include dielectrics used in chip components and multilayer ceramic capacitors (MLCC), metal pastes and powders for solar, advanced packaging and thick film conductors, surface finishing materials for LCD, hard disk and ophthalmic polishing, and chemical mechanical planarization for semiconductors.

Ferro Corporation is a leading global supplier of technology-based performance materials for manufacturers. Ferro materials enhance the performance of products in a variety of end markets, including electronics, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, building and renovation, appliances, automotive, household furnishings, and industrial products. Headquartered in Cleveland, OH, the Company has approximately 6,800 employees globally and reported sales of $1.9 billion in 2005. Additional information about the Company can be found at

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Ferro Electronic Material Systems Todd Williams, 760-305-1020

Source: Ferro Electronic Material Systems