Company history and overview
EPIR Technologies, Inc. is a fast growing high-technology company based in Bolingbrook, Illinois.
Dr. Siva Sivananthan, director of the Microphysics Laboratory at the University of Illinois at
Chicago, founded EPIR Technologies in 1998. EPIRís business started with a focus on
developing infrared materials for the US military and on cutting-edge research for the defense
industry in infrared imaging technology based on mercury cadmium telluride (MCT). The same
technology that formed the basis for EPIRís breakthrough successes in infrared imaging
technology now forms the foundation for EPIRís development of a revolutionary new
photovoltaic cell. The company has grown from fewer than 20 employees just three years ago
to over 60 employees today.
The infrared military market has been growing tremendously over the past few decades, and
several emerging sectors in both the civilian and military markets show significant potential for
further growth. The company's new infrared materials and device products will revolutionize
MCT-based infrared technology and will provide much needed components for major defense
and commercial manufacturers for the production of infrared sensors and imagers at a reduced
cost. The company has demonstrated several product concepts through highly advanced
research performed under Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contracts and other
private and government contracts. EPIR has developed a manufacturing capability of single
crystal cadmium telluride (CdTe) on silicon (Si), which is a low-cost, large area substrate for
growing MCT crystals. EPIR is currently selling MCT to customers.
To preserve the earth for our children and for our nationís security, it is necessary to greatly
reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Solar power is the largest available renewable energy
source, and its use until now has been limited only by cost. Therefore, EPIR has turned its
attention to the low-cost solar generation of electric power. Solar photovoltaic power promises
clean, renewable energy. EPIR is developing innovative manufacturing methods to produce
low-cost, high-efficiency multijunction solar cells for space, commercial and residential
applications. EPIRís approach is to combine the best features of several successful solar
photovoltaic technologies: silicon, CdTe and III-V semiconductor-based multijunction devices.
EPIR is leveraging these technologies together with its in-house expertise with CdTe/Si to
create a revolutionary new type of multijunction solar cell consisting of single crystal II-VI
semiconductors on Si, which promises low cost solar energy as an effective, practical way to
address both cost and logistics issues associated with conventional solar power.
Concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar technology requires less semiconductor ďchipĒ material
and reduces the amount of land needed to generate solar energy. Developing CPV based on
CdTe/Si can take solar power to the point of grid parity: the point at which photovoltaic
electricity is equal to or cheaper than conventional grid power.