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Oerlikon acquires laser specialist Exitech

06 Dec 2006

Exitech's equipment, capabilities and all staff to be integrated into Oerlikon's optics business unit.

Oerlikon, based in Pfäffikon, Liechtenstein, has acquired in an asset deal the laser technology, staff and equipment of Exitech, UK, one of the leading providers of nano- and micro-laser systems. Financial details were not disclosed.

Parent company Oerlikon said it expects its Optics, Solar and Wafer Processing business units to benefit from the acquisition.

Lasers play a key role in the production of minute surface structures measuring a few nanometers. And such technology is particularly significant for Oerlikon. In the production of thin film solar modules, for instance, the coated glass surface is divided into solar cells by laser scribing.

Thanks to the cutting properties of lasers, the solar cells are formed into functioning modules without having to be specially assembled. Before the Exitech acquisition, Oerlikon had to purchase external technology for this important process.

"With the integration of Exitech's expertise, we will be able to control the full value adding process in the solar segment," says Oerlikon CEO Thomas Limberger.

The acquisition of Exitech's laser technology opens up valuable know-how for other Oerlikon business units, too, in fields such as the manufacturing and structuring of color filters and optic sensors or the production of semiconductors.

"Exitech will provide crucial impetus for the development of our competencies in nano and laser technology," added Limberger. "We are happy that we are not only taking Exitech's technology on board, but also the staff, who will play an important part in the growth of our solar business."

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