Singulus Technologies has introduced an inline sputtering system for the requirements in the PV industry for CIGS & CdTe thin-film solar cell production as well as tasks for the manufacturing of heterojunction cells.
Cost-effective thin-film deposition requires uniform coating thicknesses and highly homogeneous coatings to provide the highest cell performance, while maximizing sputter target and material usage with minimum downtime.
The VISTARIS system with vertical substrate transport and the HISTARIS system with horizontal transport have been designed to enhance the efficiency of thin-film solar cells, while cutting production costs by using the state-of-the-art technologies, according to Singulus. The machines bring the user the advantage of uniform coating thicknesses and highly homogeneous coatings. Cell performance is appreciably improved. This significantly reduces the production area taken up and therefore cuts the investment outlay. High reliability and the easy-to-service design principle boost uptime and slash production costs. With the HISTARIS sputtering system contact layers on heterojunction cells can be deposited on the front and rear of the wafers without the need to turn the wafers between coating processes. By using cylindrical sputtering magnetrons, a high target exploitation rate is achieved.
Anti-reflection and barrier coatings, buffer and precursor layers such as copper-gallium, indium, and i-ZnO, but also different metallic layers like Mo, Al, Cu, Ag, and NiV, as well as transparent conductive oxide layers like ITO, AZO which are necessary for new heterojunction cell technology.
The systems are available with vertical as well as horizontal substrate transport and can be configured for various substrate sizes and are ideally suited for challenging layer stacks and flexible product mixes. The systems use an inline process in which the substrates are transported on a special designed conveyor system on flat carriers through the system. The carriers can be configured flexibly for different substrate formats and materials e.g. solar wafers. Different automation options for loading and unloading are available. Thanks to their modular structure the systems are versatile to use, and are especially noted for their compact design.
July 2015 onwards.