Nanometrics Incorporated (NASDAQ: NANO), a leading supplier of advanced metrology systems, today announced that a major manufacturer of advanced thin film solar photovoltaic (PV) cells has selected and successfully installed the latest generation of the TSM (Trajectory Solar Monitor) metrology system for in-line process monitoring and control of CIGS (Copper, Indium, Gallium) films.
Established and recognized as a valuable tool for rapid film thickness measurement, the TSM now includes photoluminescence scanning, further expanding its applications and market opportunities.
"Nanometrics' in-line photoluminescence monitoring tools enable PV manufacturers to improve cell efficiency and production yield by closely monitoring and controlling production processes in a real-time environment," said Nikos Jaeger, Director of the Materials Characterization Business Unit at Nanometrics. "The rapid, data rich process control and feedback provided by the TSM leads to lower costs, improved performance and increased competitiveness for our customers."
The new system incorporates an advanced capability to measure extremely rough films, making it a powerful tool to monitor and further improve yields. "By combining the analytical capabilities of the Nanometrics' NanoDiffract software analysis engine with the data generated by the TSM, our customers are now able to address the high roughness found in latest generation CIGS solar cells," said Lior Levin, Director of Engineering.
In the highly competitive thin film solar market, the need for higher cell efficiency and rapid feedback is vital and requires metrology tools that are both fast and accurate. Backed by Nanometrics' range of technology, applications experience and worldwide support, the TSM product family is aligned to support these requirements, as well as advancements in solar PV manufacturing within the emerging CIGS market. The systems were installed as a complement to TSM reflectometry tools currently used for in-line buffer, TCO, and CIGS thickness monitoring, providing a comprehensive, integrated process control solution for advanced PV cells.