ARM Purification

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15 October 2019

ClassOne’s Solstice CopperMax plating system chosen for MicroLink’s UAV solar cells

ClassOne Technology of Kalispell, MT, USA (which manufactures electroplating and wet-chemical process systems for ≤200mm wafers) has sold a Solstice S8 electroplating system to MicroLink Devices of Niles, IL, USA, a manufacturer of lightweight, flexible gallium arsenide (GaAs)-based solar cells. The new 8-chambered Solstice equipment, designed specifically for ≤200mm processing, will be used for electroplating of solar cells for use on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and space satellites.

“We were especially interested in the Solstice's high-speed automation and its ability to maximize control and uniformity of our electroplating processes,” says MicroLink’s CEO & president Dr Noren Pan. “Compared with our previous wet-bench processing, the new Solstice will enable us to control the electroplating process much more precisely and maintain tighter consistency week to week across production runs. This is critical for achieving the high reliability required for solar cells that power unmanned aerial vehicles and satellites,” he adds.

“MicroLink is getting the special CopperMax version of our Solstice plating system,” says ClassOne Group’s CEO Byron Exarcos. “This unique tool is specifically designed to optimize copper plating processes, and it’s getting a great deal of attention today for its high performance and low cost of ownership,” he adds. “It’s more than just supplying equipment, because our depth of experience in automated wet processing also enables us to assist MicroLink in setting up and optimizing their next-generation processes. Partnering with our customers in this way allows us to more deeply understand their objectives and achieve more effective solutions using the Solstice.”

The Solstice S8 is a fully automated 8-chamber system with up to 75wph throughput. Special CopperMax and GoldPro versions of the tool provide additional optimizations of copper and gold processes respectively.

The Solstice is also available in 4-chamber and 2-chamber configurations. In addition to electroplating, the tool’s Plating-Plus capabilities enable it to handle a number of other important functions, including wafer cleaning, high-pressure metal lift-off, resist strip, UBM etch and more. This multi-processing flexibility often reduces the number of different tools a user needs to purchase, says ClassOne.

Tags: ClassOne MicroLink  GaAs PV Multi-junction solar cells

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