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.
To provide high-efficiency CIGS thin-film modules all the relevant steps in the process are needed to be closely tailored to one another – including laser processes, wet-chemical processes, and now also vacuum-coating processes as well as their fully automated connection and intelligent controls systems. Combined, improved yield and lower costs can be achieved.
The system operates based on the principle of physical vapor deposition (PVD), in which raw materials, for example molybdenum, are converted into their gaseous state with the help of a physical process and are subsequently deposited onto the glass substrate as a conductive layer. Sputter systems offer short takt times, require little maintenance, and can be easily integrated into both new and existing production lines.
Modular inline sputter system for CIGS thin film materials.
The new Manz ISS 300 to ISS 1200 product platform was developed by Manz Coating GmbH, founded in 2010 in Karlstein, Germany, and is based on long-established technologies and system concepts for surface coating. In addition to the solar industry, sputter systems are also used in other high-tech markets such as display and touch sensor, and organic light-emitting diode (OLED) manufacturing.
September 2012 onwards.