In a bid to eliminate the use of the greenhouse gas nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) in its a-Si thin film module production process, Masdar PV is switching to Linde’s on-site generated fluorine for PECVD process chamber cleaning. Linde is the bulk gas supplier to Masdar PV’s production facility in Ichtershausen, near Erfurt, Germany.
“Our objectives are to deliver innovative, thin-film technology with an optimal cost-performance ratio,” said Dr. Matthias Peschke, Masdar’s Director of Operations & Engineering. “Using sustainable materials, hence significantly lowering the emissions in the production process, is another important differentiator for Masdar PV in a highly competitive market. Linde’s efforts in offering efficient and safe on-site fluorine technology to remove NF3 from our process are commendable.”
“Fluorine cleaning is a win-win choice for thin-film solar cell manufacturers,” commented Ian Travis, Manager of Linde’s on-site Fluorine business. “In addition to removing any risk of unabated emissions, Fluorine reduces non-productive cleaning time and improves throughput.”
By changing from NF3 to F2 alone, Linde estimates that the CO2 payback time for thin-film PV modules can be cut significantly, by up to two years.