A. Ceramics and amorphous silicon
43. Microwave drying of ceramics (China). Ceramics
production is a traditional industry in China. Products from the conventional
methods of drying (hot-air drying) are susceptible to deformation and cracking.
Microwave drying, which has been recently employed, ensures uniform drying
resulting in a higher quality ceramic product.34
44. Amorphous silicon in solar cells manufacture (Japan).
Amorphous silicon is superior to single-crystal silicon in physical,
chemical, mechanical, electrical, magnetic and optical properties. Cells made of
single-crystal silicon cost US$ 4,000 to 5,000 per kW of output while those from
amorphous silicon are one hundredth or less of the above cost. Developments in
amorphous silicon production are thus the key to cost reduction in photovoltaic
In Japan, several companies now manufacture watches, radios and
calculators which utilise amorphous silicon solar cells. Conversion efficiency
as high as 6.9 per cent has been