Our History

Our team has been developing this unique wafer manufacturing process for over a decade. While Leading Edge started in 2018, our technology was originally conceived of and developed at Applied Materials. Learn more below about our journey to get here.

The Beginning - 2008
In 2008, the Floating Silicon Method process was pioneered by Leading Edge founder Dr. Peter Kellerman at Varian Semiconductor, which was later acquired by Applied Materials (AMAT). Through 2015, over $14 million was dedicated to developing the foundational science and original lab demonstration tool for critical stability demonstrations. This important work enabled breakthrough publications and over one hundred globally granted patents.
The Beginning - 2008
The Launch - 2015
In 2015, Applied Materials decided to exit the solar industry and mothballed all ongoing solar development projects – including FSM™. Peter solicited Dr. Alison Greenlee to spin-out the FSM™ technology from AMAT, and they co-founded Leading Edge together in 2017. Leading Edge went on to win the Fraunhofer TechBridge SunRise Challenge II where it was introduced to its founding investors: David Buzby, DSM Ventures, and Clean Energy Ventures. Grants from the Department of Energy and Massachusetts Clean Energy Center also catalyzed the hiring of a founding team and the operational start of the business in 2018.
The Launch - 2015
The Demo - 2019
Through 2019, Leading Edge leveraged AMAT’s original lab tool to perform critical demos and discover FSM’s unique material properties, enabling additional grants from the Department of Energy and National Science Foundation. These demonstrations confirmed FSM’s breakthrough physics and justified the creation of a commercial tool designed to achieve techno-economic performance in a production setting.
The Demo - 2019
Leading edge engineer tuning silicon wafer manufacturing equipment.
Commercialization Foundation - 2020
Starting in early 2020, Leading Edge began preparation for customer pilots by doubling the team size, building out a 31,000 sq ft showcase and production facility, and expanding senior leadership to include Dr. Rick Schwerdtfeger and Dr. Nathan Stoddard. Collaborating with the industry and the solar community, Leading Edge is now developing the commercial tool and infrastructure for 2021 pilots. If you have interest in piloting Leading Edge equipment, please contact us.
Commercialization Foundation - 2020
Leading edge engineer tuning silicon wafer manufacturing equipment.
The Pilot - 2021
More details coming soon!
The Pilot - 2021