Inline Sputtering System for High Performance Solar Cells

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Numerous SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES vacuum sputtering machines are in operation in the solar industry, where SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES provides the GENERIS PVD as a high throughput inline sputtering system platform with horizontal substrate transport. The GENERIS PVD is engineered for the specific requirements of the production of high-performance HJT solar cells. The GENERIS PVD ideally meets the key requirements of the heterojunction cell technology with respect to sophisticated transparent conductive oxide layers (TCO) such as ITO (Indium Tin Oxide) and AZO (Aluminum doped Zinc Oxide). The solar cells are automatically transported through the process chambers of the GENERIS PVD, following the inline principle and applying coatings on both sides. The sputtering system safeguards a high level of layer thickness uniformity with high layer reproducibility, high productivity and at the same time very low operating expenses (OPEX).
A full substrate temperature control during the whole process section enables optimum layer performance at temperatures ≤ 200 °C. Compared to conventional alternative processes like Reactive Plasma Deposition (RPD), a vacuum inline sputtering system offers a number of clear advantages. Based on the calculation for a 1 GW production fab for HJT solar cells, the CAPEX for using a reduced number of high-throughput sputtering systems from SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES with a max. capacity of 10,000 wafers per hour (wph) is by far lower compared to RPD systems with a capacity of only 2,500 wph. With the latest system generation GENERIS PVD 10000, SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES can assure capacities up to 10,000 wph leading to an annual equipment output of about 500 MW. There are further savings due to the smaller footprint of the equipment and related smaller building and cleanroom space requirements. In addition, RPD systems offer only bottom up, single-sided processes requiring a wafer flip which causes additional, unnecessary wafer handling. In comparison, the dual-sided processes of the GENERIS PVD require less wafer handling resulting in reduced wafer breakage, wafer damage and wafer marks. SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES offers the GENERIS PVD with different throughput ranges of 3,000, 6,000 and up to 10,000 wafer per hour.
Based on long lasting experience, systems designed by SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES offer high throughput and high uptime. SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES takes advantage of in-house magnetron development, simulation and optimization of different sputtering processes and in-house component and process developed using state-of-the-art sputtering lab equipment at SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES R&D center. Newly developed processes can be directly adapted to the GENERIS PVD mass production platform.
Typical Performance Characteristics GENERIS PVD    
•    Sputtering materials: ITO, AZO and metals like Ag, NiV, Cu, Al etc.
•    Parallel processing of several substrates (Si-wafers)
•    Available in 4 versions:
      o    GENERIS LAB
      o    GENERIS PVD 3000 for approx. 3,000 wph
      o    GENERIS PVD 6000 for approx. 6,000 wph
      o    GENERIS PVD 10000 for approx. 10,000 wph
•    Modular configuration
•    Low cost of ownership and high uptime
•    Top down and bottom up sputtering configurable
•    Sputter sequence configurable
•    Full temperature control throughout the whole process
•    Rotatable cylindrical magnetrons for highest utilization of target material
•    Single end and double end version selectable
•    Manual or semi-automated lab versions on request
Rotary Magnetrons with Intensive Cooling and Highest Material/Target Utilization
•    Target utilization about 80 % for rotatable cathodes compared with only 30 % for planar cathodes
•    More stable process with rotatable cathodes because of less nozzle formation
•    Long-life rotary seals
•    Maintenance on customers’ site
•    Advanced water fill and drain features
•    Flexible target attachment method and non-proprietary target design


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