Technical Ceramics (MTC) has been selected by Oerlikon Solar to provide
high-purity alumina ceramic bars for use in solar panel thin-film
deposition processes. The bars, which will be used for lifting and
stacking glass panels in Oerlikon’s thin-film deposition machines, are
ideal for the process as they can withstand the high temperatures
necessary to the procedure.
The use of high-grade alumina in the semiconductor industry has proven its suitability to application to the thin-film PV deposition process, in that it is inert, and as a result does not react with other gases involved in the manufacturing process, and it is thermally stable, capable of withstanding the high temperatures involved in the process.
“Ceramic is an alternative to stainless steel, which has a tendency to buckle and bend in very high temperatures,” said an Oerlikon spokesperson. “We use ceramic bars in machines running at 200°C because of its excellent thermal and chemical stability.”
“The manufacturing challenge is to produce a
consistent flatness and parallelism over the 1.2m length of the bar,” said Yannick Galais, Commercial Manager, MTC Rugby. “We have the capability to achieve flatness
of less than 0.01mm and parallelism of less than 0.05mm, with a mirror polish
By Síle Mc Mahon