Heraeus acquires IP to strengthen 'lead-free' metallization portfolio


Heraeus will continue to develop its metallization paste portfolio, in particular expanding its offerings of pastes including glass compounds, otherwise known as glass frit. Heraeus has acquired three patent families in pursuit of this aim, that relate in particular to pastes including tellurium-oxide.

Heraeus has acquired patent applications WO2014050703, WO2014045900 and WO2014050704 from Japan’s Murata Manufacturing.

The use of glass frit enable electrical contact between the silicon substrate and the metal electrode, with tellurium in particular offering improved contacting, Heraeus reports.

“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," said Weiming Zhang, a senior vice president R&D for 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."

The president of Heraeus Photovoltaics Andreas Liebheit added that with the Murata patents the company now has a portfolio of more than 70 patent families.

In June Heraeus launched a patent infringement lawsuit against Giga Solar Materials in Taiwan. Earlier this month Heraeus’ Liebheit told pv magazine that the legal dispute is expected to take around nine to twelve months before a ruling is handed down by legal authorities in Taipei. The Giga Solar lawsuit relates to frontside passivation pastes 590, 600 and 620. The patent in question, TWI432539, relates to both leaded and tellurium-based pastes.