2 November 2011

Nanometrics TSM metrology tool – now with PL scanning - installed by CIGS PV maker

Nanometrics Inc of Milpitas, CA, USA (a supplier of process control metrology systems primarily for manufacturing semiconductors, high-brightness LEDs, data storage devices and solar photovoltaics) says that a major manufacturer of thin-film PV cells has installed the latest generation of its TSM (Trajectory Solar Monitor) metrology system for in-line process monitoring and control of copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS) films. Established as a tool for rapid film thickness measurement, the TSM now includes photoluminescence (PL) scanning, 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,” says Nikos Jaeger, director of the Materials Characterization business unit. “The rapid, data-rich process control and feedback provided by the TSM leads to lower costs, improved performance and increased competitiveness,” he claims.

The new system incorporates the capability for measuring extremely rough films, enabling monitoring and further yield improvement. “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,” says director of engineering Lior Levin.

Nanometrics says that, 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 firm adds.

The systems were installed at the thin-film PV cell maker as a complement to TSM reflectometry tools currently used for in-line buffer, transparent conductive oxide (TCO) and CIGS thickness monitoring, providing a comprehensive, integrated process control solution for PV cells.

Tags: Nanometrics Metrology CIGS

Visit: www.nanometrics.com

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