CoreFlow to introduce wafer singulation system for crystalline PV industry

September 10, 2009 -CoreFlow says its new SingFlow wafer singulation system for crystalline PV applications, being debuted later this month, solves a bottleneck in one of the critical steps in the crystalline PV manufacturing process.

September 10, 2009 – CoreFlow Ltd. will be introducing its new wafer singulation system for crystalline PV applications, called SingFlow, at the 24th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (Hamburg, Germany) later this month.

The company says the automatic system deals with the accurate separation of wafers, and solves one of the critical steps in the crystalline PV manufacturing process. Ron Eyal, solar systems business unit manager at CoreFlow, told PV World that singulation of wafers after pre-cleaning is currently performed manually, where workers separate and feed wafers one by one to the next manufacturing step. “This labor-intensive process is a severe bottleneck,” said Eyal. “It decreases the uptime and the utilization of the manufacturing line.”

The new system’s wafer carrier holds a stack of thousands of wafers that are introduced into the system immediately after glue dissolving and pre-cleaning. A vacuum chuck automatically grabs one wafer at a time and separates it from the stack. The singulation is performed in water.

The company says the new system is based on a stress-free, pure-shear singulation concept. The modular system design supports the output to different configurations of lane-based cleaning systems and/or cassette loading. The chuck angle on the new system is adjustable and is automatically positioned in the same plane as the next wafer in line for singulation. “This enables pure-shear singulation with no stress on the second wafer in line,” said Eyal. Because sensors detect the wafer angle, the distance to the wafer, as well as the wafer thickness, there is precise control of the system mechanism enabling delicate and accurate singulation — i.e., minimal contact force on the wafer.

Eyal Spielberg, CEO at CoreFlow, said that the new product “has been field-tested at several customer sites in Germany, and a beta system will be tested during 4Q09.” First system shipments are expected for early 2010.