TNO spin-off company, SoLayTec has sold the first four of its Al2O3 ultrafast ALD (atomic layer deposition) Process Development Tools (PDT) to separate customers that include imec, Fraunhofer ISE and two unidentified Asia-based solar cell manufacturers. SoLayTec said that the tools would be installed in the third and fourth quarter of 2011.
All the tools are being supplied for research applications such as surface passivation, depositing Al2O3 on c-Si cells. SoLayTec believes this important milestone precedes volume production implementation of the technology with cells capable of 20%-plus conversion efficiencies.
According SoLayTec research institutes and solar cell manufacturers are still in an optimisation phase of the process recipe for Al2O3. However, upon being optimised the company expects a transition away from PDT’s with throughputs of approximately 100 wafers per hour (wph) to 3,600 wph available
phase of optimising the process recipe for Al2O3. As the research and development requires low volumes, the PDT (100 wph) is viewed as the best option for this job. When the processes have been optimised, ramping up to high volume will be possible installing the high volume tool from SoLayTec, which is capable of 3,600 wph.