Singulus Technologies' inline sputtering systems for PV


Singulus Technologies has successfully taken its product family of vacuum coating systems for use in solar technology to the next development level and has successfully introduced and installed inline sputtering system for the requirements in the photovoltaic industry for CIGS & CdTe thin-film solar cell production as well as tasks for the manufacturing of heterojunction cells.

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. Typical applications include e.g. 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 etc. as well as transparent conductive oxide layers like ITO, AZO which are necessary for new heterojunction cell technology. 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.

The VISTARIS system with vertical substrate transport and the HISTARIS system with horizontal transport had been designed to enhance the efficiency of thin-film solar cells, while cutting production costs by using the state-of-the-art technologies. The machines bring the user the advantage of outstandingly even coating thicknesses and highly homogeneous coatings. Cell performance is appreciably improved. Thanks to their modular structure the systems are versatile to use, and are especially noted for their compact design. 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.

Enabler in the CIS/CIGS thin-film solar cells industry?

Through its production systems, SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES supplies wet-chemical processing, coating machines and selenization systems for second-generation CIGS/CIS cells and has thus positioned itself at the vanguard of technology leaders for pioneering development and production systems. Inline sputtering systems add a further production stage to the portfolio, which already spans the key processes of CIGS/CIS cell production. In light of the anticipated volume of investment in production lines for CIGS/CIS thin-film solar cells, SINGULUS believes the long-term prospects of the solar segment to be bright. Through its new system concepts and innovative processes, the company is promoting the development of solar technology, which will play an increasingly important role in the global energy mix.