Photovoltaic Series Thermal Deposition Sources for Thin Film CIGS

Thin film solar cells have attracted considerable interest from solar cell manufacturers because of their potential to significantly reduce manufacturing costs compared to current Si-based devices.

However, one of the most demanding challenges is transitioning CIGS processes from R&D to high-volume manufacturing. Accordingly, manufacturing lines must have low capital costs, produce consistent solar devices and ramp quickly to generate revenue.

Thermal Deposition Sources

These factors are particularly important in relation to deposition equipment due to their impact on device efficiency. Deposition sources must be reliable and deliver stable flux over time in capacities sufficient for a week or more of uptime. Veeco provides this solution in our production-capacity PV-Series™ Thermal Deposition Sources for CIGS, capable of depositing across 120cm-wide substrates - providing the most innovative deposition technologies presently on the market.

For over 20 years, Veeco has excelled at designing and manufacturing material-specific thermal deposition sources for both R&D and production thin film deposition systems. Our focus has been on providing reliable sources with high material utilization while ensuring the highest level of performance. Veeco thermal deposition sources demonstrate excellent thickness uniformity and compositional control in some of the most demanding electrical and optical applications. Veeco sources have become the production standard because of their large capacities, high temperature operation and long term stability - all critical factors in the CIGS deposition process.

Veeco’s PV-Series Thermal Deposition Sources, incorporating patented design elements, are an ideal choice for R&D and high-volume manufacturing of CIGS solar cells - enabling you to meet your process goals today and tomorrow.

Anatomy of a CIGS Deposition System

Figure 1 shows a typical CIGS deposition module incorporating Veeco PV-Series Thermal Deposition Sources. The module is shown optimally configured with six SUMO® sources and one selenium valved source, providing high material utilization (50-60%) and low thickness non-uniformity (<±5%) on 120cm-wide substrates. Veeco PV-Series SUMO Sources and Valved Sources are available in production capacities, allowing for a week or more of continuous operation.

CIGS deposition module

Figure 1. CIGS deposition module

High Volume Manufacturing of CIGS

Table 1. Production-Scale SUMO Sources for Copper, Indium and Gallium



Large material capacity and high temperature operation

Enables long production uptimes and Cu deposition rates up to 20g/hr

Dual filament heater

Prevents material accumulation at crucible opening, reducing defects

Patented SUMO crucible design

Enables production capacities while minimizing long-term depletion effects

PV-Series 725cc Source with SUMO Crucible.

Figure 2. PV-Series 725cc Source with SUMO Crucible.

Production Scale Valved Source for Selenium

Table 2. Production Scale Valved Source for Selenium



15,000cc crucible capacity

Extends uptime, minimizing material loading cycles and system vents

Linear nozzle design

Maximizes material utilization while providing uniform material distribution

All-metal valve

Enables near instantaneous flux adjustment and on/off control

PV-Series 15,000cc Valved Source

Figure 3. PV-Series 15,000cc Valved Source

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Veeco.

For more information on this source, please visit Veeco.


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