Well known equipment supplier to the semiconductor and related electronics fields, UK-based Oxford Instruments is entering the c-Si PV equipment sector after Bosch has recently taken delivery of a cluster tool capable of running both ALD (Atomic Layer Deposition) and plasma CVD aluminium oxide deposition processes.
Oxford Instruments System100Pro deposition tool is a ‘Hex Handler’ providing capabilities for several deposition technologies, and allowing multiple process steps to be carried out without a vacuum break. The system delivered to Bosch employs a high temperature wafer substrate table option up to 700ºC, and power ramping ability within the software. It also offers low power plasma strike options that limit wafer surface damage at start-up.
According to the equipment supplier, some of the technology used in the cluster tool was developed as part of a recent EC supported R&D project ‘ThinSi,’ which included both companies and was intended to develop a solar cell process chain for high throughput, cost-effective manufacturing of thin Si based solar cells on low-cost Si substrates.