Applied Films Cites Solar Thin-Film Production Success

[RenewableEnergyAccess.com] On its way to developing a cost-effective mass production process for thin-film silicon solar cells on glass, Applied Films said they achieved a major breakthrough: In a single vacuum deposition run, several fully operational amorphous-microcrystalline silicon solar modules were processed. The created solar modules yielded an efficiency of 10 percent, according to the company. They have been produced on a modified production platform of Applied Films, which commonly uses physical vapor deposition (PVD) processes for color filter applications for the display manufacturing industries. For the first time, the system has successfully been applied as manufacturing tool for plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD). Applied Films says their achievement could be particularly important for the solar industry: Experts see a much larger cost reduction potential for thin-film solar cells compared to the wafer-based technologies where a shortage of feedstock silicon is looming. The electrode was jointly developed with Applied Film’s renowned research partners Institute of Photovoltaic (IPV) in the research center Julich (FZJ), Julich, Germany, and the Forschungs- und Applikationslabor Plasmatechnik (FAP), Dresden, Germany.

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