FREE subscription
Subscribe for free to receive each issue of Semiconductor Today magazine and weekly news brief.



22 July 2009


Nanometrics launches system for textured and rough PV thin-film thickness control

Nanometrics Inc of Milpitas, CA, USA, a supplier of process control metrology systems primarily for manufacturing semiconductors, solar photovoltaics and high-brightness LEDs, has launched its Trajectory Solar Monitor (TSM) integrated metrology system.

The latest in Nanometrics' Trajectory product line, the TSM is designed to rapidly measure the thickness of various thin films in order to enable fast feedback and excursion prevention in the manufacture of all types of photovoltaic (PV) cells.

“Every solar PV cell manufacturing line has unique process control challenges due to the engineered films that are deposited,” says Tom Ryan, director of the firm’s Materials Characterization business unit. “The launch of the TSM system expands our addressable market into the textured and rough films segment of the solar PV industry,” he adds. “The TSM is optimized for film measurement on high-throughput processes, enabling control on textured crystalline silicon cells, complex multi-junction thin-film silicon cells, and high-roughness CIGS (copper indium gallium (di)selenide) and cadmium telluride (CdTe) films.”

Leveraging Nanometrics’ experience in integrated process control solutions, the TSM enables direct integration in solar cell manufacturing lines to enable process control of critical layers, the firm says. The Trajectory system has been optimized to provide robust and precise metrology on the most complex thin-film solar materials, and can be incorporated for measuring in both atmospheric and vacuum systems. The system’s rapid measurement time can keep pace with any type of cell manufacturing line, enabling measurement of 100% of the products at numerous points throughout the flow, including junction, buffer, and absorber layers, anti-reflective coatings, and transparent conducting oxides (TCO), says the firm.

Search: Nanometrics Metrology Photovoltaics