03 November 2011
Singulus Technologies has received an order for one Singular plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) tool for silicon-wafer solar cell fabrication from the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore (SERIS).
SERIS is a research institute at the National University of Singapore (NUS). SERIS is sponsored by NUS and Singapore's National Research Foundation (NRF) through the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB).The Singular PEVCD is a coating tool for the application of anti-reflection coatings (ARCs) to crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar cells.
To reduce the cost of photovoltaic (PV) electricity and to obtain continuous improvement with respect to PV module efficiency and manufacturing cost, SERIS operates pilot lines for both silicon-wafer solar cells and silicon thin-film solar cells. The Singular PEVCD is part of a multi-million dollar project headed by SERIS that focuses on silicon-wafer heterojunction solar cells and their mass production. The research and development (R&D) project is jointly funded by the NRF and several international partners, namely SERIS and Singulus Technologies. The consortium brings together partners from wafer, equipment and materials suppliers to device and module manufacturers.
The Singular tool has already demonstrated capabilities for silicon nitride (Si3N4) ARCs, achieving efficiencies and colour uniformity for current solar cell technologies. In the SERIS project, these capabilities will be expanded to depositing active layers for heterojunction silicon-wafer solar cells. The key of the tool is the PECVD inductively coupled plasma, which, when excited, enables control over film composition and density at high deposition rates.
This tool concept is based on static inline production, which combines the advantages of inline substrate transport and static processing. It allows the coating of complex layers, such as layer stacks or gradients, by keeping a continuous substrate flow.
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