The CIS Cluster Tool project is a collaboration between German companies AVANCIS GmbH & Co. KG (CIS module producer), SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES AG (plant construction), HERAEUS Noblelight GmbH (infrared heat technology) and the IfG Institute for Scientific Instruments GmbH (measurement techniques) as part of a sponsoring project within the "Photovoltaics Innovations Alliance". The project is expected to be in operation for three years.
The overall objective seeks to research a new manufacturing process for CIS films to achieve the highest level of efficiency of thin film solar modules combined with a significant increase of plant throughput compared with existing concepts. An industrial manufacturing process is to be developed on the basis of findings from a planned demonstration plant, with which the costs of manufacturing thin film photovoltaic modules per watt peak can be significantly reduced.
The project aims to pursue a number of significant development themes:
- New plant concepts and processes: Research on innovative Rapid Thermal Processing.
- New full process chains: Combination of selenide coating with the Rapid Thermal Processing of CIS semiconductors to achieve increased process control, higher efficiency and improved plant technology in a bid to decrease costs.
- New in-situ analystics: Research on new in-situ measurement processes to improve control and understand physiochemical processes in semiconductor production. Use of knowledge on process optimisation with regard to optimising efficiency and minimising processing time.