Inline Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition System for AlOx and SiNy on PERC Solar Cells

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Vacuum Deposition Technology at a Glance

SINGULUS TECHNOLOGIES has delivered far more than 8000 vacuum sputtering machines since its foundation in 1995. The machines range from standard sputtering systems to ultra-high vacuum deposition machines applying extremely thin layers of around 0.2 nm for the semiconductor industry as well as photovoltaic, data storage, decorative coatings and other applications.

In addition, vacuum thin-film technology is used in modern sensory technology for medical uses and in vehicle technology as well as for piezoelectric materials in mobile phone technology.


Inline PECVD System for AlOx and SiNy Deposition on PERC Solar Cells

One main focus during solar cell production is on cost per Wp. Passivated emitter and rear cell technology (PERC) is a comparatively low-cost approach to achieve conversion efficiencies over 22 %. The newly developed GENERIS PECVD system is a horizontal inline tool designed for the special needs in photovoltaic mass production.

PERC solar cells are coated on both sides with dielectric passivation layers. Rear side passivation is achieved by deposition of a thin AlOx-layer capped by SINy. On the front side, a layer of SiNx serves for both, passivation and anti-reflective coating (ARC). The system is ideally suited for cost effective mass production with high uptime, short cleaning interruptions and maximum utilization of raw materials. Full substrate temperature control during the whole process enables optimum layer performance at temperatures in the range of 450 °C.

The GENERIS PECVD system allows for deposition on both sides of the wafer without vacuum interruption. The usage of both the processes of AlOx and SINy, are realized by a gas separation chamber. Thus GENERIS PECVD can be configured to individual needs:

  • AlOx + SiNy on rear and SiNx on front for the complete PERC process
  • AlOx + SiNy for PERC rear side passivation
  • SiNx on front and/or rear for ARC and/or rear capping layer only

Especially the first configuration in which all PECVD layers are deposited in one tool represents a cost attractive straight forward solution for newly installed PERC fabs.

The system is using an inline process in which the substrates are transported on specially designed carriers for wafer size up to M4. The carrier return system is located below the machine under clean environmental conditions. Different automation options for loading and unloading are available.

For the future, GENERIS PECVD is as well ready to serve in the production of more advanced and ultra high efficiency cell architectures like PERT, IBC, TOPCon/POLO for example by single-side deposition of doped a-Si layers.

Inductively Coupled Linear Plasma Sources (ICP)

  • Mild coating process, no damage to emitter or interfaces
  • High dynamic deposition rates for both AlOx and SiNy, thus reduced number of plasma sources, reduced power consumption
  • Economic gas consumption and usage
  • Shortest cleaning and maintenance interruption


  • Adaptable to every solar cell architecture
  • Throughput scalable, number and sequence of process modules configurable
  • IC-PECVD guarantees mild coating process, no damage to emitter or interfaces
  • Full control on wafer temperature during the whole process sequence
  • Complete PECVD sequence without vacuum interruption
  • Economic gas consumption and utilization
  • For wafer size up to M4
  • Chamber and tray design to minimize parasitic deposition
  • Tray return system under clean atmosphere
  • 8000 wafer/h, uptime ≈ 97 %
  • Ready for future cell architectures, e.g. passivated contacts

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