The renewable energy market is booming. That's good news for the semiconductor industry too, as semiconductor firms develop breakthrough technology that can significantly improve energy efficiency. Soitec is one such company; it is working under the Magellan project to develop new materials and systems for renewable energy applications. The firm intends to become a major player in concentrator photovoltaics (CPV)--a technology with huge potential. Soitec and its Soitec Solar subsidiary are leveraging their industry-leading skills in substrates and CPVs, respectively, to develop high-added-value systems for the fast-growing solar energy market.
Under the Magellan project, engineers will use their knowledge of advanced substrates--obtained from microelectronics research--to develop pioneering semiconductor materials for solar energy applications. The goal is to build up an entire industry for making innovative III-V materials for use in CPV systems. The project is part of Soitec's strategy to develop and produce next-generation materials with high energy yields for high-volume, environmentally-focused markets. The composite substrates that Soitec plans to use have numerous advantages, including: - Enabling innovative methods for making multijunction solar cells, thanks to Soitec's advanced transfer technology; - Reducing the need for costly raw materials.