Natcore Technology Inc.

Natcore Technology Inc.

September 15, 2010 08:00 ET

Natcore Increases Film-Growth Rate By Order of Magnitude

Rate of LPD Growth Multiplied 10 Times, While New Passivation Discovery Promises Important New Applications

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Sept. 15, 2010) - Natcore Technology Inc. (TSX VENTURE:NXT)(PINK SHEETS:NTCXF) is pleased to announce that the Company's research program has discovered methods to dramatically increase the rate at which thin films are grown using its proprietary process.

Specifically, Natcore's research team working at the Ohio State University facilities has discovered how to increase the rate of liquid phase deposition (LPD) film growth by up to 10 times. Importantly, the small-area films grown with this much-faster process show film quality equivalent to that of the full-area films grown with the slower LPD process. Work continues to scale-up the faster process to uniformly and completely coat multiple wafers simultaneously. This scale-up ability had already been established by the slower process.

The dramatically increased LPD growth rate guarantees that Natcore's coating technology will integrate smoothly into silicon solar cell fabrication lines the world over. This is an important achievement with far-reaching implications not only for solar cells, but also for optoelectronic devices, semiconductors and other applications.

The Company is proceeding with a patent application for this invention, and further details will be released once this protection is achieved.

Film Passivation Discovery Adds to Reach of Natcore's LPD Process

Natcore's team of researchers has also discovered a method to passivate the surface of the solar cell on which a silica film has been grown using the Company's LPD process.

Passivation is the process of filling the dangling atomic bonds at the surface of the solar cell, as well as reducing the numbers of defects that always exist in the upper region of the cell body. It is critical to enabling production of long-term, high-performance silicon solar cells.

In Natcore's refined LPD process, this necessary passivation is achieved using the same production steps normally applied to the solar cell to create its top and bottom metal contacts — no additional heating cycles are required. The synergistic nature of Natcore's technology with existing cell fabrication steps will greatly simplify the standard silicon solar cell manufacturing process. 

Very importantly, recent developments in silicon solar cell manufacturing R&D have shown that significant gains in cell performance can be achieved with ever-thinner silicon wafers by passivating the rear surface of the cell with a layer of silica underneath the full-coverage aluminum back contact. This step has not yet been included in actual manufacturing because it presently requires the deposition of the silica film by thermal vacuum processes that are too cumbersome and costly to implement.

In contrast, Natcore's newly discovered passivation process using its LPD technology could enable manufacturers to incorporate this vital step in their manufacturing lines in a simple and cost-effective manner, and represents an important new commercial application for Natcore's technology.

The Company is also applying for patent protection for this important discovery, and more details will be forthcoming after filing.

China Joint Venture Progressing Well

Management is also pleased to report that the Company's joint venture with the Zhuzhou Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone and Chuangke Silicon Ltd. (see news release dated June 22, 2010) is progressing quickly, as expected. Necessary corporate structures and banking relationships have been created, hiring of staff has begun, and funding and build-out of facilities are now ready to proceed.

"We've been deeply impressed with the capabilities and enthusiasm of our new partners," reports Chuck Provini, Natcore's president and CEO. "In fact, even as we begin transferring our anti-reflective coating application to China, we have already begun exploring additional applications to incorporate into our joint venture. We are going to hit the ground running, and fully expect great achievements from this partnership."

"At the same time," notes Provini, "we remain dedicated to the development of similar joint ventures in the United States and Canada for different applications of our technology. We are presently in discussions and negotiations with industry and venture capital groups toward that end. While there is no guarantee that such talks will ultimately result in agreements, we are very optimistic and excited about the possibilities."

On behalf of the Board of Directors,

Charles Provini, President and Chief Executive Officer

About Natcore Technology Inc.

Natcore Technology is the exclusive licensee, from Rice University, of a thin-film growth technology enabling room-temperature growth of various silicon oxides on silicon wafers in a liquid phase deposition (LPD) process. Although the implications of this discovery for semiconductors and fiber optics are significant and wide-ranging, the technology has immediate and compelling applications in the solar sector. Specifically, the Company's LPD process could enable silicon solar cell manufacturers to significantly reduce manufacturing costs and increase throughput, and has the potential to allow, for the first time, mass manufacturing of super-efficient (30%+) tandem solar cells with double the power output of today's most efficient devices.

Having been independently tested and verified by one of the world's most respected science and technology laboratories, Natcore's technology is now in the process of being commercialized. Our goal: to make stand-alone solar energy competitive with conventional power generation.

Statements in this press release other than purely historical factual information, including statements relating to revenues or profits, or the Company's future plans and objectives, or expected sales, cash flows, and capital expenditures constitute forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on numerous assumptions and are subject to all of the risks and uncertainties inherent in the Company's business, including risks inherent in the technology history. There can be no assurance that such forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on such statements. Except in accordance with applicable securities laws, the Company expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements or forward-looking statements that are incorporated by reference herein.

Neither TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

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