EU PVSEC: Applied Materials announces new system to boost cell manufacturing efficiency

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Semiconductor and PV materials manufacturer Applied Materials announced its new Next Generation Solion XP Ion Implant System at EU PVSEC in Paris, which it claims provides a cost effective solution for manufacturing high efficiency PV cells.

According to Applied Materials, the system performs in-situ patterned doping, enabling production volume of high efficiency crystalline silicon cells improved yield, and reduced cost.

Applied Materials says the system is adept in high volume manufacturing of N-type cells, using precision patterning and high-quality boron doping to eliminate process steps and simplify manufacturing. The system uses technology with in-situ patterning precisely controls dopant depth, dose and placement of phosphorous and boron, according to the company.

The system also has multiple pass vertical scanning architecture with closed loop control, to enable wafer-to-wafer repeatability, to improve binning and yield.

Applied Materials claims that the system’s “scanning architecture” and “scalable design” supports processing more than 3,000 wafers-per-hour, reducing the cost per wafer, according to the company.

Jim Mullin, the vice president and general manager of solar products for Applied Materials’ Energy and environmental solutions group, says he hopes the new system will enable 22% efficiency ratings and higher, for average costs or cheaper.

“We've worked closely with our leading customers to develop a solution that addresses their most critical manufacturing challenges of yield, binning, cell performance, and cost,” he said. As manufacturers transition to N-type cells away from P-type cells to improve efficiency, energy output and costs per watt, Mullin also said the Solion XP system’s “architectural advantages enable high productivity and extendibility to two-dimensional precision patterning and N- type cell processes to help our customers meet the growing market demand for cost-efficient solar power.”

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