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.
The PV manufacturing industry is seeing an increasing in the use of wet processing steps, which adds to chemical waste disposal issues. This is leading to new interest in plasma technology in the atmospheric, (APT) continuous mode for dry etching, surface cleaning, adhesion promotion. Vacuum plasma techniques are highly dependent on the materials and cycle times and are difficult to migrate to high volume continuous production environments. SiNx deposition for example is typically a batch process slowing throughput and difficult to integrate into linear production lines.
The system uses reactive gases that are diffused toward the surface under the influence of electrical fields. Low molecular weight materials such as oils, water, absorbed gases and polymer fragments are knocked off the surface to expose a clean, fresh surface. A percentage of the reactive components in plasma with sufficient energy will bond to the freshly exposed surface, changing the chemistry of the surface and imparting the desired cleaning and functionalizing effect. In Roll-to-Roll applications using plasma technology can effectively clean thin metal substrates from rolling oil deposits. Such substrates also act as a thermal heat sink, providing for quick heating and cooling attributes that can speed processing. In crystalline silicon cell applications APT can be used for cleaning the metal/alloy back contact layer. It can also be applied to a-Si triple junction wet chemical cleaning.
Plasma4 can be used for cleaning and functionalizing roll materials used for crystalline silicon, thin film silicon, and organic PV materials.
Enercon offers a wide range of atmospheric plasma systems for treating a variety of materials, including; Patterned Glass, Float Glass, EVA Film, Tedlar Film, PVF Composite Films, Copper Foils, Stainless Steel Foils, Aluminum Foils.
December 2010 onwards.