The development of heterojunction (HJT) and other high efficiency cell concepts is being facilitated by the continuing development of PECVD tooling. Switzerlands INDEOtec SA, a relatively new arrival to the PV equipment supply space, has booked the second order for its Octopus II PECVD platform. INDEOtec has previously shipped four pieces of equipment based on the Octopus platform.
The Octopus II will be used by the IPVF institute in its work developing high efficiency PV cells. The IPVF has a 18.5 million, six year grant to carry out its work.
The Octopus II PECVD tool can be used for the deposition of Si alloys such as SiNx, SiOx for passivation. However the deposition of intrinsic and doped amorphous silicon (a-Si) looks to be the initially most promising application. INDEOtecs PECVD tool can simultaneously deposit a range of materials onto a c-Si solar cell in a horizontal deposition process, without breaking vacuum.
Omid Shojaei, CEO on INDEOtec, said that the supply to IPVF shows confidence in the Octopus IIs performance in the field.
One of the key enabling technologies developed by the INDEOtec team, which is largely comprised of former Oerliken Solar technologists, is that it can ignite plasma at low power. Omid Shojaei told pv magazine that while it might be tempting to think that a-Si deposition tooling that may be currently lying idle can be repurposed for HJT production, that it is likely that such an approach will technically compromise the resulting HJT cells.