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Large-Area PECVD for 40×40 cm² Substrates

The objective is to transfer the developments for small-area (10×10 cm²) solar cells to medium-sized solar modules (40×40 cm²) by means of industrial Plasma-Enhanced Chemical Vapour Deposition (PECVD) processes. Cost effective single-chamber PECVD process is being developed as an alternative method to conventional multi-chamber process. We intend to produce hydrogenated amorphous (a-Si:H) and microcrystalline (µc-Si:H) silicon films and solar cells by using single-chamber process without compromising the quality of the materials properties (optoelectronic properties, film thickness, crystallinity).

We are also working on development of in-situ laser treatment of layer stacks of p-and n-doped and intrinsic silicon by using line laser of high output power. The goal is to cure the raw material selectively within the layer structure to enhance their quality, by overcoming limitations of the production process, to expand existing process windows and to access new processes for material development. Company LIMO Lissotschenko Mikrooptik and IEK5-Photovoltaics are cooperating in this project and thus pooling their experience.

Technical Equipment

The PECVD system with a substrate size of 40×40 cm² was fabricated by “Von Ardenne Anlagentechnik” (Germany) and contains two deposition chambers (PC1 and PC2) and one load lock (LL). The design and construction of the deposition system, in particular the PECVD electrodes are developed in close cooperation with the manufacturers (VAAT and FAP, Dresden). The PECVD chamber PC1 represents an industrial reactor equipped with showerhead vertical electrodes with maximum base pressure of ~10-7 mbar and temperature of ~200 °C. The electrode can be operated at RF frequencies (13.56 MHz). Single-chamber process was developed for fabrication of single and multi-junction solar cells made of a-Si:H and µc-Si:H.

The deposition chamber PC2 is equipped with a line laser (12×0.1 mm²) of high output power to enable selectively and effectively in-situ material treatment even within layered stacks. Therefore the laser needs to be guided precisely across the substrate with very high velocity and simultaneously very low waviness while tracking the distance very accurately. This is necessary to keep the thin film within the focal range of the laser beam across the whole sample area.

BauelemEntw03PECVD system for 40×40 cm2 substrates


Daniel Weigand
Dr. Florian C. Maier
Dr. Tsvetelina Merdzhanova