Product Reviews > Thin Film

  • singulus

    Singulus’ inline sputtering system enables heterojunction cell thin-film deposition

    22 September 2015, 12:15

    Singulus Technologies has introduced an inline sputtering system for the requirements in the PV industry for CIGS & CdTe thin-film solar cell production as well as tasks for the manufacturing of heterojunction cells.

  • The 3.0 MegaWattBlock uses a maximum voltage of 1500 Volt. Developed in co-operation with GE and PADCON, the 1500 V inverter system reduces

    BELECTRIC’s 3.0 ‘MegaWattBlock’ PV plant offers high grid stability

    04 September 2013, 12:19

    BELECTRIC’s new 3.0 MegaWattBlock is claimed to set new standards in solar power production. The power plant unit is designed to create electricity at the lowest possible levelized costs of electricity (LCOE). On a par with the functionality of large conventional power plants, the grid-stabilizing plant technology is designed to intelligently integrate renewable energy sources in existing power grids.

  • The all-black module's change in appearance results from the use of an advanced, all-black edge seal technology combined with an innovative

    First Solar’s ‘Series 3’ CdTe thin-film module platform offers harsh environment capability

    18 April 2013, 11:25

    First Solar has launched a new evolution of its Series 3 CdTe thin-film PV module platform. The ‘Series 3 Black’ is said to incorporate First Solar’s latest advances in conversion efficiency as well as additional features to enhance its performance in utility-scale power plants.

  • The EddyCus Thin-Film lab employs the eddy current method that utilizes local conductivity variations of the test objects for the characteri

    ‘EddyCus Thin-Film’ lab designed for contactless real-time thickness

    21 March 2013, 10:37

    SURAGUS GmbH, a spin-off from the Fraunhofer Institute for Non-Destructive Testing Dresden, offers the ‘EddyCus Thin-Film lab’ specifically for contactless real-time thickness and sheet resistance determination of low and high conductive thin-films on glass, wafer, plastics or foils.

  • Engineered Conductive Materials is offering the ‘DB-1569-1’ low temperature curing conductive adhesive for use in organic photovoltaics (OPV

    Engineered Conductive Materials offers low-temperature curing conductive adhesive for OPV

    21 February 2013, 16:33

    Engineered Conductive Materials is offering the ‘DB-1569-1’ low temperature curing conductive adhesive for use in organic photovoltaics (OPV). This material formulation has been optimized for improved conductivity and stability on various substrates when cured at 80°C or higher.

  • The main features of the CISARIS include a high uptime and mechanical yield, as well as a fast cycle time, which, in combination with the ro

    CISARIS furnace from Singulus provides optimised CIGS absorber formation

    22 November 2012, 15:05

    The CISARIS oven from Singulus Technologies is an in-line rapid thermal processing equipment, designed for the CIGSSe absorber formation on large area glass substrates. The main features of the CISARIS include a high uptime and mechanical yield, as well as a fast cycle time, which, in combination with the robust selenisation process, lead to a production capacity of over 25 MWp per year.

  • EU PVSEC: Manz displays new ISS 1200, a compact inline sputter system

    27 September 2012, 16:26

    Manz AG has complemented its range of products for the thin-film solar market with a vacuum system for vertically coating substrates. The new coating system, ISS 1200 is a compact and modular inline sputter system (ISS) that allows manufacturers to get a better rate of raw material utilization and is part of the Manz ‘Total Fab Solution’ for thin-film panel manufacturers. In early September 2012, Manz presented a thin-film solar panel with an efficiency of 14.6%, breaking the previous world record.

  • ECM provides fast curing high Tg conductive adhesive for CIGS modules

    23 August 2012, 15:01

    Engineered Conductive Materials (ECM) has developed a new fast curing conductive adhesive CA-100 for stringing and bussing next-generation CIGS solar modules. This material formulation is optimized for improved conductivity and stability on molybdenum and other substrates used in thin-film manufacturing.

  • Bruker’s ‘pcAFM’ performs OPV cell characterization in R&D environments

    14 August 2012, 16:09

    Bruker has launched its Photoconductive Atomic Force Microscopy (pcAFM) module for its ‘Dimension Icon’ platform that enables sample illumination while performing nanoscale electrical characterization. In conjunction with Bruker’s ‘PeakForce TUNA’ technology, is claimed to provide the highest resolution photoconductivity and correlated nanomechanical mapping for research on fragile organic photovoltaic (OPV) device samples.

  • Dedicated dye sensitized solar reference cell from Konica Minolta offer temperature stability

    03 May 2012, 11:21

    Konica Minolta Sensing Americas has introduced the AK-300 PV Reference Cell, which is claimed to be the world’s first for dye-sensitized solar cells. The AK-300 was developed in conjunction with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) and utilized Konica Minolta Sensing’s advanced optical filter technology. The reference cell has been designed using an optical filter mounted on a stable crystalline silicon solar cell rather than using traditional dye materials.

  • Silver paste from DuPont offers lower processing temperatures for thin film solar cells

    24 April 2012, 10:33

    DuPont Microcircuit Materials (MCM) has introduced ‘DuPont Solamet PV416’ photovoltaic metallization paste used to raise the efficiency of thin film photovoltaic cells. The front-side silver paste material has the capability to be processed at temperatures below 140°C, and is designed to provide improved contact resistance, conductivity, adhesion and fine line resolution when printed on Transparent Conductive Oxides (TCOs). The new paste has been claimed to have boosted CIGS thin-film manufacturer, Midsummer AB’s cell efficiencies by as much as 0.5%.

  • UNECS-2000 spectroscopic ellipsometer from Ulvac designed for fast R&D needs

    23 February 2012, 15:46

    ULVAC Technologies has introduced the UNECS-2000 spectroscopic ellipsometer for the high speed measurement of film thickness and optical constants of thin films in R&D applications.

  • MoNa sputtering targets from Plansee offer higher CIGS cell efficiencies

    09 February 2012, 15:19

    Plansee High Performance Materials has added MoNa sputtering targets with high purity and a uniform and fine-grained microstructure to its product offering. Tests in cooperation with the Swiss EMPA institute have claimed the MoNa targets to be superior to alternative targets. Using Na-doped molybdenum layers, the efficiency of CIGS solar cells are said to have been significantly improved.

  • Second-generation ThinFab turnkey system from Oerlikon Solar sets lowest module costs

    26 January 2012, 17:03

    Oerlikon Solar’s 2nd generation ThinFab turnkey system is claimed to enable a CapEx reduction of more than 20%. The estimated price for the complete end-to-end production line is just US$1/Wp including engineering support and performance guarantees. The production line is claimed to produce high quality thin film silicon modules for cost of around $ 0.5/Wp (€ 0.35/Wp), a new record-low in the solar industry.

  • Tanaka provides silver ink hardened by UV irradiation under room temperature conditions

    24 January 2012, 17:18

    Tanaka Precious Metals has introduced what it claims is the world’s first conductive silver ink capable of forming electronic circuits using only hardening by ultraviolet (UV) light without the need for hardening by heating. A total of three silver inks using different types of resin and reaction initiator will be available and users can select the materials according to their manufacturing equipment and application.

  • Dr Schenk’s SolarMeasure I-V Curve Tracer offers individual cell electrical characterization

    23 November 2011, 12:09

    Dr Schenk has developed a high-speed, non-destructive measurement of I-V curves of thin-film modules prior to the lamination step. The SolarMeasure I-V Curve Tracer evaluates the characteristics of every individual cell on the complete thin-film panel and detects local variations. These measurements can be taken in-line and the results serve as a GO/NO-GO test of whether a panel should be processed further.

  • Bystronic’s photovoltaic-TPA system offers continuous encapsulation and sealing of thin-film modules

    09 November 2011, 21:55

    The photovoltaic-TPA (Thermo Plastic Applicator) from Bystronic glass group is a machine designed for the encapsulation and sealing of thin-film photovoltaic modules. The machine is claimed to be the first machine of this type that is capable of working in 24-hour operation without any interruption.

  • TCO thin-film coatings from NSG offer wide-application optimization

    05 October 2011, 15:42

    The NSG Group is a leader in TCO (transparent conductive oxide) coated glass for thin-film photovoltaic applications. Its ‘TEC’ product range is a group of products, including a comprehensive range of TCO coated glass, optimized to suit a variety of thin-film photovoltaic technologies.

  • Manz offers XRF-inline quality system for thin film metrology requirements

    28 September 2011, 20:56

    Manz AG has launched an XRF-inline quality system (IQ-XRF) as an extension of its Manz IQ Series. The fully automated x-ray fluorescence system has been designed to qualify various deposition process steps in photovoltaic production lines. Two of these XRF-systems were recently integrated into a photovoltaic line and show their ability to perform in 24/7 operations.

  • VITRUM GEN 2 from Singulus simultaneously cleans backsides and edges of thin film solar cells

    14 September 2011, 18:38

    Singulus Technologies has launched an enhanced wet-chemical processing system for thin film solar module manufacturing dubbed the ‘VITRUM’ GEN 2. Singulus claims the upgraded system offers substantial cost-saving potential and can easily be integrated into already existing manufacturing lines.

  • TENUIS GEN 2 system from Singulus offers process time reduction for CIS/CIGS thin-film solar cells

    24 August 2011, 10:19

    Singulus Technologies has made significant improvements to its TENUIS platform for wet-chemical coating of thin-film solar modules made of copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS) on glass. The TENUIS GEN 2 system incorporates new and unique concepts in terms of dosing and temperature control, while reducing the process time by up to 20%. The floor-space requirements of the modular system have also been reduced by 30%.

  • LayTec’s ‘PearL’ measures photoluminescence spectra of CIGS thin films inline

    15 August 2011, 10:59

    LayTec launched a new in-line metrology system ‘PearL’ at the Intersolar Europe 2011. PearL is an optical in-line monitoring system, measuring photoluminescence spectra of CIGS thin-film modules in production lines and is part of the LayTec product line for solar applications. Photoluminescence spectra allow a fast detection of the effective Ga content of the absorber during the production process. A product option for CdTe absorbers is also available.

  • Dr. schwab IT’s FPI system enables fast full surface thickness evaluation of thin films

    10 August 2011, 15:20

    With the FPI solar series, dr. schwab IT has developed metrology systems covering all aspects of the production process for thin-film panel manufacturing. The new system meets volume production speed requirements with full surface measurement for quality assurance as well as continuous monitoring of all process parameters helping to increase productivity and yield of production lines.

  • Gerold’s HMA-system offers automatic hot melt edge-sealing of thin-film modules

    03 August 2011, 15:30

    Gerold’s HMA-system automatically applies liquid butyl (hot-melt) for edge-sealing of thin-film modules, replacing the need for butyl tape, which has limiting use factors in high-volume production applications. Gerold claims the HMA-system offers more economical packing drums, less waste, and improved product quality.

  • Solyndra offers non-penetrating easy mount system for commercial metal roof market

    22 June 2011, 11:11

    Solyndra has launched the Solyndra 200 Series ‘Metal Roof Solution.’ The unique non-penetrating adjustable mounting system is designed to meet the additional solar installation challenges posed by metal roofs. Metal roofs make up a significant and growing portion of the large, low-sloped, commercial, industrial and agricultural rooftop markets.

  • Sentech Instruments ‘SenSol Haze’ offers quality control of TCO films

    15 June 2011, 17:38

    Sentech Instruments, a manufacturer of advanced quality control instrumentation for thin film metrology applications, has developed a transparent conductive oxide (TCO) inspection tool that offers uniformity mapping of film thickness and spectrally resolved haze H(λ) on glass sheets of all standard glass sizes.

  • Edwards hot trap pumping solution enables extended maintenance cycles in depositing TCO films

    17 May 2011, 19:22

    Edwards has introduced a patented hot trap designed to thermally decompose the liquid diethyl zinc (DEZ) used in depositing some transparent conductive oxide (TCO) films in thin film solar manufacturing.

  • Konica Minolta’s AK Series photovoltaic reference cells provide consistent cell measurements

    20 April 2011, 18:53

    Konica Minolta Sensing Americas has introduced the AK Series of new photovoltaic reference cells to the US market. The AK reference cells are used as a standard point of calibration to ensure consistent measurements of newly developed photovoltaic cells.

  • Centrosolar offers trapezoidal roofing solution for flexible thin-film mounting

    28 March 2011, 10:59

    Centrosolar has developed a new installation option for the flexible thin-film solar module, TF Multi Professional, produced by United Solar Ovonic. This means the large-surface module can be installed on roofs covered with trapezoidal sheet metal. Up until now, installation has been possible only on plastic foil roofs, according to the company.

  • Solyndra offers integrated greenhouse energy generation solution

    24 March 2011, 14:55

    Solyndra has developed a new solar application for agricultural greenhouse and shade structures that takes advantage of light being able to pass through Solyndra’s proven tubular thin-film PV panel design. Research CeRSAA in Italy and the Department of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, have confirmed the improved nature of the panel design and its ability to support crop growth underneath while generating electricity.

  • Tosoh SMD’s sputtering targets support 18% thin-film efficiencies

    02 March 2011, 14:05

    Tosoh SMD has introduced new transparent conducting oxide (TCO) sputtering targets that achieve higher solar cell efficiency than standard targets. Tosoh’s new TCO targets are available in planar and rotary configurations and are composed of either traditional indium tin oxide (ITO) or aluminum zinc oxide (AZO).

  • SNEC 2011: DuPont’s ‘PV5400’ encapsulants are available in roll form for fast lamination

    22 February 2011, 13:49

    DuPont Photovoltaic Solutions has introduced the ‘PV5400’ series thin ionomer-based encapsulant sheets designed to protect sensitive thin-film solar modules, while offering manufacturers new ways to cut costs, speed throughput and deliver more power over the life of each unit.

  • TRUMPF’s TruMicro Series ultra-short pulse lasers offer improved thin-film edge ablation

    21 February 2011, 10:46

    The small and compact TRUMPF TruMicro Series 3000 with wavelengths of 1064 and 532 nanometres are designed for P1, P2 and P3 patterning.

  • Honda Soltec developes more compact CIGS module with 13% efficiency

    31 January 2011, 11:32

    Honda Soltec will release a new thin-film solar cell with an even more compact design than the current model to allow efficient installation on a wide range of roof shapes. The module conversion efficiency of the new solar cell module is expected to exceed 13.0%, ranking it among the world’s most efficient CIGS-based thin-film solar cells.

  • Atlumin Energy’s customized ‘barking’ rotary sputtering targets offer maximum material utilization

    24 January 2011, 17:39

    Atlumin Energy has begun fabricating monolithic `barking’ (dog bone) rotary molybdenum sputtering targets for solar thin-film module manufacturing. Barking targets offer superior material utilization, while monolithic targets offer higher density and higher purity than traditionally fabricated targets.

  • National’s MYPVDATA SOC web interface provides performance analytics for PV systems

    24 January 2011, 13:29

    National Semiconductor has released the ‘SolarMagic’ ‘MYPVDATA’ Solar Operations Center (SOC). The software as a service (SaaS) offering helps users analyze data collected from the PV array by delivering information through an easy-to-use web-interface.

  • Enercon’s ‘Plasma4’ in-line treating system offers high volume continuous production

    19 January 2011, 11:42

    Enercon Industries Corporation is introducing the new ‘Plasma4’ in-line atmospheric plasma surface treatment system for the cleaning and functionalizing of roll-to-roll materials used for fabricating photovoltaic systems.

  • Solyndra’s 200 Series module requires no tools for flat roof installation

    17 January 2011, 10:51 | Comments (1)

    Solyndra has announced the first major upgrade to its CIGS cylindrical thin-film modules. The Solyndra 200 Series requires no tools for commercial flat rooftop installation and is the fastest and easiest-to-install. Improved light collection makes the 200 Series rated as high as 220Wp and is larger in size (2.28 m x 1.09 m x 0.06 m) than its predecessor.

  • Evonik’s PMMA-based barrier film handles flexible thin-film roll-to-roll manufacturing

    22 December 2010, 16:11

    Evonik has introduced a highly transparent and also weathering-resistant barrier film based on polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) that can replace glass plates as a front cover.

  • Chroma has developed an automated & completely integrated module assembly line

    22 December 2010, 16:04

    Chroma ATE is launching phase-II of its solar manufacturing solutions by introducing its automated & completely integrated solar module assembly line for both thin film and c-Si cell technologies.

  • DAS offers integrated abatement solution for silicon thin-film production

    29 November 2010, 15:03

    DAS Environmental Expert has developed an integrated and compact solution for the abatement of waste gas, waste water and fine dust created during the production of silicon based thin film modules.

  • DuPont’s ‘Kapton’ polyimide films offer improved thin-film performance

    24 November 2010, 10:57

    DuPont Circuit & Packaging Materials announces the commercial availability of DuPont ‘Kapton’ polyimide films

  • ‘Generation-F’ platform from Linde enables chamber cleaning without SF6 or NF3

    12 November 2010, 15:42

    High-purity fluorine gas (F2) is the highest performing cleaning gas available. Onsite generation of the gas has been developed by Linde, delivering high-purity F2 on demand and at low pressure, eliminating the need for large-volume/high-pressure storage and ensuring safe and reliable supply to CVD process tools.

  • Henkel’s electrically conductive adhesive enables fast curing at low temperature

    25 October 2010, 18:30

    Delivering an alternative to high-temperature solder processes, Henkel has developed Hysol Eccobond CA3556HF, a silver-filled electrically conductive adhesive designed to offer fast cure at low temperature. The material is also designed for high-throughput production processes and applications that dictate high peel strength, such as the assembly of PV modules.

  • Soliant Energy targets commercial rooftop market with CPV module

    18 October 2010, 18:38

    Soliant Energy has launched its next generation CPV commercial rooftop solar energy solution, the SE-1000X. The SE-1000X features eight CPV modules per tracking panel and delivers 504W. This high power coupled with the integrated ‘TipTilt Tracking’ is claimed to generate the greatest amount of energy, at the lowest price per kWh (kilowatt) for commercial rooftop installations. The SE-1000X maximizes energy production per rooftop square foot when compared to flat-panel solar rooftop solutions.

  • 3M’s ‘Ultra Barrier Solar Film’ designed for flexible thin-film applications

    14 October 2010, 14:38

    Product Briefing Outline: 3M has introduced its Ultra Barrier Solar Film for flexible thin-film technologies into volume manufacturing. The product is the result of more than a decade of development in transparent barrier technology, having the potential to drastically reduce the total system costs for rooftop solar installations. The film’s unique module form factor also offers an array of niche applications.

  • Dow Chemical ‘Enlight’ encapsulant films reduce cycle times up to 30%

    11 October 2010, 15:44

    Product Briefing Outline: Dow Chemical has launched it ‘Enlight’ polyolefin encapsulant films, which are claimed to enhance efficiencies in PV module production and lead to lower conversion costs. The films also can provide greater module stability and improved electrical performance versus traditional encapsulants, such as EVA-based products, which improves the reliability and extends the service life of PV modules. The new encapsulant films are suitable for c-Si and thin-film modules.

  • Umicore’s CIGS production scrap recycling closes the materials loop

    27 September 2010, 16:11

    Product Briefing Outline: Umicore Precious Metals Refining has introduced a CIGS production scrap recycling service with an initial capacity of 50Mt per annum. This new service allows the recycling of production waste (e.g. chamber residues) generated by CIGS solar cell producers, and valorizes copper, indium, gallium and selenium.

  • Solar Metrology expands XRF platform to integrated linear CIGS thin-film applications

    15 September 2010, 17:11

    Product Briefing Outline: Solar Metrology has expanded its SMX XRF tool portfolio for film composition and thickness measurement of CIGS photovoltaic deposition processes with the addition of the System SMX- Linear ISI. SMX LINEAR ISI is said to be fast, flexible and easily integrated into any vacuum deposition tool, vacuum process station, or point of a vacuum process line.

  • Festo launches servo-pneumatic handling system for vacuum applications

    08 September 2010, 17:37 | Comments (1)

    Product Briefing Outline: Festo has developed the Sliding Fork, an innovative way of transporting glass. This unique servo-pneumatic handling system is particularly suitable for vacuum applications and is totally leak-proof, dynamic, with extreme torsional rigidity.


  • Photovoltaics International 29th Edition

    Forecasting the evolution of a young, dynamic industry is by definition an uncertain business, and solar is no exception. Rarely, if ever, do the numbers broadcast by any of the various bodies involved in the PV prediction game tally, and even historical deployment rates remain the subject of hot debate. The paradox is that getting forecasts broadly right is going to become increasingly important over the next few years, particularly for those involved in producing the equipment that will support whatever levels of demand come to pass.



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