LayTec, the major provider
of in-situ monitoring equipment to the compound semiconductor industry, is entering
a new field of business.
With its brand new product-line SolR, LayTec will provide the first in-line
commercially available for thin film photovoltaic (PV) applications. SolR is
capable of monitoring
the film thickness of all layers throughout the thin-film PV process: transparent
oxide (TCO), absorber and buffer layers. SolR will be available in various editions
for copper indium
gallium selenide (CIGS) as well as for CdTe based thin-film solar cell processes.
to LayTec’s chief developer in the PV project, the main challenge that
had to be tackled was to
obtain an accurate film thickness measurement despite the reduced reflectance
due to intentionally
rough absorber layers.
Absorber layers (e.g. CdTe or CIGS) are intentionally designed to be very
rough in order to maximize
internal reflections of the sun-light in the cells, thereby enhancing the efficiency
of the solar
cell. Reflectance measurements, however, usually work ideally for smooth layers.
found a very robust way to establish film-thickness measurements even under
Today, measurements in thin film PV processes are mainly performed off-line
and not on each
batch. “SolR will help thin-film PV producers to control their production
on-line and thereby enhance
their yield. Besides, it will accelerate development cycles and help to transfer
processes to new lines, an important feature in times when thin-film PV industry
LayTec’s CEO Thomas Zettler said.
“We realized a strong demand from CIS and CdTe based solar cell producers
in discussions with
researchers of big thin-film PV players at several conferences. Now, after less
than a year of tightly
focused engineering and testing works at LayTec, we are proud to have signed
the first order
contracts and to ship the first SolR system to a confidential thin-film PV manufacturer
Numerous further systems are expected to follow: better control pays off quickly.”
SolR is designed to be compatible with typical state of the art in-line and
and to work on all different kinds of substrates and current PV cell designs.
For further information, meet us at Photovoltaic Technology Show in Munich on
4-6 March 2009:
Hall C1, Booth I 5. Or contact: [email protected]