Altatech Launches New CVD System to Deposit Advanced Materials Needed in Photovoltaic Manufacturing
MONTBONNOT, France, October 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –
Altatech, a subsidiary of Soitec, announced today that it has introduced a
multi-chamber chemical vapor deposition (CVD) system that enables photovoltaic (PV) cell
manufacturers to develop and optimize their solar cell designs using advanced thin-film
deposition of amorphous silicon and other materials. By performing all deposition
processes within a single system, the new AltaCVD Solarlab(TM) tool reduces cycle times
and materials consumption in fabricating advanced single-junction, tandem-junction and
triple-junction PV cells.
Using the AltaCVD Solarlab, customers can deposit transparent conducting oxide (TCO)
films that deliver the superior optical characteristics, high doping mobility and smooth,
defect-free surfaces needed to optimize efficiency of their solar cells.
“Extending our core CVD technology for use in solar cell development presents an
additional market opportunity for us,” said Jean-Luc Delcarri, general manager of Soitec’s
Altatech subsidiary. “Reducing the amount of material used in cells and improving
photovoltaic conversion performance will be the keys to growth in the next few years. We
look forward to continuing to apply our deposition expertise in both R&D and commercial
applications for the renewable-energy industry.”
In creating its newest CVD system, Soitec’s Altatech subsidiary leveraged its patented
chamber architecture and deposition technology, which enables the use of new precursor
gases to achieve extremely high film uniformity and tightly controlled stoichiometry.
These capabilities have been production-proven on the company’s AltaCVD platform, which
has been used in both engineering and volume manufacturing of advanced semiconductor
devices since 2008.
The AltaCVD Solarlab system has the versatility to perform standard thermal CVD
processing as well as plasma-enhanced CVD and atomic-layer deposition. These processes can
be run over a wide spectrum of temperatures, from 100degree(s) C to 800degree(s) C, to
create photosensitive films that can maximize the efficiency of PV cells in converting
sunlight to electricity. In addition, the system can handle a variety of substrates,
including transparent glass and both round or square silicon wafers with thicknesses
ranging from 150 microns to several centimeters.
Soitec plans to begin shipping AltaCVD Solarlab systems to customers by the end of
About Altatech Technology and Equipment Expertise
The Altatech division offers a unique portfolio of equipment for mature and advanced
materials deposition and holistic defect inspection. It develops highly efficient,
cost-effective inspection and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technologies used for R&D
and manufacturing of semiconductors, LEDs, MEMS and photovoltaic devices. Altatech
Semiconductor S.A. became a subsidiary of Soitec in January 2012.
Soitec is an international manufacturing company, a world leader in generating and
manufacturing revolutionary semiconductor materials at the frontier of the most exciting
energy and electronic challenges. Soitec’s products include substrates for
microelectronics (most notably SOI: Silicon-on-Insulator) and concentrator photovoltaic
(CPV) systems. The company’s core technologies are Smart Cut(TM), Smart Stacking(TM) and
Concentrix(TM), as well as expertise in epitaxy. Applications include consumer and mobile
electronics, microelectronics-driven IT, telecommunications, automotive electronics,
lighting products and large-scale solar power plants. Soitec has manufacturing plants and
R&D centers in France, Singapore, Germany and the United States. For more information,
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SOURCE Soitec and Altatech