VITRUM GEN 2 from Singulus simultaneously cleans backsides and edges of thin film solar cells

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Singulus Technologies has launched an enhanced wet-chemical processing system for thin film solar module manufacturing dubbed the ‘VITRUM’ GEN 2. Singulus claims the upgraded system offers substantial cost-saving potential and can easily be integrated into already existing manufacturing lines.

Problem

In comparison to dipping processes, the second generation VITRUM enables homogeneous, reliable and reproducible etching. It features further advantages in compared to a dipping bath such as a higher etch length and concentration, a higher process speed of up to 5 m/min and minimized carryover.

Solution

The VITRUM GEN 2 simultaneously cleans backsides and edges of thin film solar cells in a single working step. In addition to the automated process control, the new single-side etching tool protects the active layer by process hoods and performs pencil and rear side etching with brushes and chemicals. VITRUM GEN 2 is claimed to be the only tool on the market that cleans the rear side and the edges in one single step without any harm to the active layers. It is used for cleaning after oven processes as well as for etching of undesirable coatings on rear side and edges, for example CdTe or CdS. The VITRUM GEN 2 provides the platform for several different process steps: At a CdTe manufacturing process it performs six steps, starting with glass washing, back side cleaning CdTe, CdCl2 deposition using roller and salt removal to glass washing and developer. When producing a-Si/muc-Si and CIS/CIGS cells, VITRUM features glass washing as well as TCO etching, KCN etching or NH3 treatment respectively. In addition it also provides NP, DAE and EDTA etching for substrate sizes up to 2,200.

Applications

Wet-chemical processing system for thin film solar modules.

Platform

The new design of the VITRUM GEN 2 improves the accessibility for optimized maintenance work in a large installation cabinet. Piping is similar for all liquid circuits. It offers a high cycle rate and is also easy to integrate into existing production lines.

Availability

June 2011 onwards. 

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