Working together, Dainippon Screen Manufacturing and Gifu University have produced a new technology that analyzes the characteristics of amorphous silicon films for thin-film silicon solar cell panels. The result from the research of the new technology is being used in spectroscopic ellipsometric film thickness measurement systems by Screen. Product creation is expected to be completed by this fall.
The thin-film silicon solar cells are said to be able to allow for large-size cell panels to be manufactured with only a small amount of silicon used. Dainippon and Gifu look for the cells to be used in ground-mounted solar systems.
“Screen entered the solar cell industry in July 2008 as part of a plan to expand our business domains. We also began our collaborative research with Gifu University that November in an effort to strengthen the RE-8000 measurement system for thin film solar cells, the first product we released upon entering the market. We are extremely happy this research has now borne fruit in the form of a world-first technological discovery and we are just as pleased it is leading to the creation of a product equipped with a technology that represents a breakthrough for the thin-film solar cell industry. Screen hopes to grow the scale of its solar cell business to five billion yen by 2012 and we strongly believe this system will play a key role as a standard bearer for our business,” stated Katsumi Shimaji, corporate officer of Dainippon Screen.
Screen and Gifu have been working together since November 2008 researching the analysis of thin-film silicon solar cells. To date, the research has produced the ability to demonstrate an analysis method for amorphous silicon films to be used in the production of stable cell panels with minimal generation loss. This also allows for the digitization of information that is useful for a precise control of light-induced degradation.
Although the results of the research have been included into Screen’s spectroscopic ellipsometric film thickness measurement systems as a measurement function, work is still being conducting to commercialize the new technology into an accurate analysis of film properties, noncontact and nondestructive measurement of film thickness.