1 September 2010


H.C. Starck targets improved sputtering materials at CIGS, a-Si and CdTe PV cell makers

As one of the world's largest producers of refractory materials such as molybdenum, tungsten and tantalum powders, H.C. Starck says that it is focusing on manufacturers of copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS), amorphous silicon (a-Si) and cadmium telluride (CdTe) thin-film photovoltaic solar cells, with material utilization, cost reduction and improved sputtering performance being a particular focus of sputtering target R&D at its Fabricated Products Group, which is headquartered in Euclid, OH USA.

H.C. Starck says that its R&D team is working to improve sputtering target performance in its in-house Thin Film Materials Lab, which is equipped with sputtering tools and instrumentation for testing and characterizing thin-film properties. Producing improved sputtering performance for thin-films PV (TFPV) energy applications has been enabled through in-house prototyping and modeling, the firm says.

As a result, its molybdenum targets have extremely low levels of oxygen and are fully dense with refined microstructures optimized for improved sputtering, the firm claims, while the monolithic rotary target design helps to cut costs through improved target utilization, reduced arcing and superior power density.

H.C. Starck says that, as a vertically integrated supplier of refractory materials, it has the expertise to reduce, press, sinter and finish high-performance materials for the marketplace. It uses highly specialized equipment and technologies capable of producing rotary sputtering targets at the height of the most demanding requirements of target users in LCD display, large-area coating and solar cell applications.

The firm’s production and extrusion facilities produce molybdenum rotary targets with inside diameters of 125mm (monolithic) and 135mm (bonded) up through the current largest rotary target requirement. Tantalum, niobium, nickel-vanadium and other materials can also be produced in planar or rotary form. Targets of 4m (or more) in length can be produced according to customer specifications.

The Fabricated Products Group will be exhibiting at the 25th EU PV Solar Energy Conference (6–10 September) in Valencia, Spain.

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