TAIPEI, Taiwan — Heraeus Photovoltaics, the worldwide leading supplier of metallization pastes to the PV industry, has acquired three patent families from the Japanese company Murata Manufacturing.

The patent families on the basis of the international patent applications WO2014050703, WO2014045900 and WO2014050704 refer to metallization pastes, which contain glass compounds (glass frit) with specific material combinations basing on Tellurium-Oxide. The patents further strengthen the company’s intellectual property position as the market leader in the development, manufacturing and use of pastes having tellurium containing glass frit in the paste compositions.

Glass frit is a key component in the formulation of metallization pastes, enabling the electrical contact formation between the silicon substrate and the metal electrode. Tellurium containing pastes have demonstrated improved electrical contact to silicon solar cells over non tellurium containing paste. Furthermore, Tellurium containing glasses play an important role in lead-free pastes, which is increasingly gain market share due to environmental considerations.

“We are leading a trend towards the usage of lead-free pastes in solar cell manufacturing, which has intensified this year. The patents we recently acquired from Murataare of strategic importance to our R&D activities to offer our customers high performance metallization pastes that will immediately begin to add value to their products,” states Dr. Weiming Zhang, Senior Vice President Research and Development, Heraeus Photovoltaics. “They complement our existing patent portfolio including the Shoei patent families which we acquired earlier and which gives Heraeus a very strong position in the future market of lead-free paste.”

For Andreas Liebheit, President Heraeus Photovoltaics, the acquisition of the Murata patents signifies the consistent development of Heraeus’ Intellectual Property strategy. “With more than 70 patent families, Heraeus Photovoltaics has one of the strongest patent portfolios in the segment of solar cell metallization pastes. This strength proves our innovativeness and provides a significant value added to our customers. This expansion of our intellectual property portfolio through the synergies of internal development and acquisition is meant to provide our customers with industry leading solutions that are commercially viable for fair trade. They benefit form innovative products based on a strong patent portfolio. We will continue to develop and defend this position.”

About Heraeus
The Heraeus Photovoltaics Business Unitis an industry leading developer and manufacturer of silver metallization pastes for the photovoltaic industry. For over 40 years, Heraeus has built a reputation of innovation, extensive research and new product development in thick film technologies for some of the most prominent companies within a variety of industries. In the field of photovoltaics, the Heraeus Photovoltaics Business Unit applies this history and its innovative technology to offer metallization pastes for solar cell applications. The Heraeus SOL Series of silver pastes is specially formulated to provide higher efficiencies and wider processing windows, resulting in better yields and higher output for cell manufacturers.

Heraeus,the technology group headquartered in Hanau, Germany, is a leading international family-owned company formed in 1851. With expertise, a focus on innovations, operational excellence and an entrepreneurial leadership, we strive to continuously improve our business performance.

We create high-quality solutions for our clients and strengthen their competitiveness in the long term by combining material expertise with technological know-how. Our ideas are focused on themes such as the environment, energy, health, mobility and industrial applications. Our portfolio ranges from components to coordinated material systems which are used in a wide variety of industries, including the steel, electronics, chemical, automotive and telecommunications industries.

In the 2014 financial year, Heraeus generated product revenues of €3.4 bn and precious metal revenues of €12.2bn euros. With around 12,600 employees worldwide in more than 100 subsidiaries in 38 countries, Heraeus holds a leading position in its global markets.

Derick Lila
Derick is a Clark University graduate—and Fulbright alumni with a Master's Degree in Environmental Science, and Policy. He has over a decade of solar industry research, marketing, and content strategy experience.

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