New Products

Keratherm U 90 TIM can be used where contamination concerns prohibit introduction of silicone-based thermal pads …

Silicone-free interface material for high thermal conductivity

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Keratherm U 90 TIM can be used where contamination concerns prohibit introduction of silicone-based thermal pads, but high levels of thermal conductivity are needed for sufficient thermal transfer in hot electronic devices. The U 90 material comprises a ceramic-filled polyurethane film with thermal conductivity of 6.0W/mK and thermal impedance of 0.05Kin2/W. The material has a 4.0kV voltage breakdown property. It provides perforation protection with a tensile strength of 2.5N/mm2 and a Shore A hardness of 70. Typical applications for the thermal interface pads include medical devices, laser equipment, lighting systems, solar energy, disc drives, and aerospace electronics. Keratherm U 90 interface material is available in 0.100 and 0.200mm thicknesses. Standard and custom shapes are available in continuous rolls.

MH&W International,
Mahwah, NJ;
www.mhw-thermal.com

Metallization line

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The PV1200 metallization tool suits commercial photovoltaic production, built with modularity and lean manufacturing principles. The platform design reportedly enables rapid build and response to market requirements. More modules can be added as needed. The updated PV1200 system has more compact equipment dimensions. The design is based on the company’s PVP1200 screen printer with purpose-designed loader/unloader, buffering, inspection and wafer flipping solutions. It integrates with dryers and wafer-firing technologies from BTU. It offers 1200 cells/hour throughput, six sigma process rating, 12.5µm resolution, and advanced handling capabilities.

DEK Solar,
Flemington, NJ;
ph 908/782.4140
www.deksolar.com

Ultrasonic systems for dispensing

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Two ultrasonic systems dispense nano-materials on target substrates. The systems reportedly are accurate and cost-effective dispensing and depositing systems for nano-materials. The proprietary SonicSyringe is an ultrasonic atomization dispersion syringe pump. The other system is a proprietary ultrasonic atomization spray nozzle. When conventional mixing devices and pumps are used for dispensing nano-particles, they tend to agglomerate and separate from the liquid suspension, according to the company. The SonicSyringe imparts ultrasonic energy to break down and eliminate agglomerates that have formed during earlier handling. It keeps the nano-particles continuously suspended in a uniform and homogenous mixture, creating a steady-state dispensing process. The ultrasonic spray nozzles are designed to uniformly and accurately coat a thin layer of nano-particles on substrates of different shapes, forms, and sizes. Applications include solar panels, fuel cells, functional textiles, specialty glass, and biological and chemical sensors.

Sono-Tek
Milton, NY;
ph 845/795.2020; www.sono-tek.com

PV workstation

The PV IsoStation series workstation offers a 36?× 60? ergonomic workspace specifically for PV test and development applications, offering storage and shelving for instruments, solar simulators, and other devices. A specially treated worksurface (with a black Formica-covered composite material) reduces light reflectivity by a factor of six compared to typical optical table surfaces.

Newport
Irvine, CA; ph 949/863.3144
www.newport.com

Non-contact deposition head

Aerosol Jet printing is an additive manufacturing solution designed to reduce the overall size of electronic systems, using nano-materials to produce fine-feature circuitry and embedded components without masks or patterns. Aerosol Jet printed solar cells achieved efficiencies of over 20% when combined with light induced plating (LIP) and annealing. The narrower, higher integrity collector lines produced by Aerosol Jet deposition systems have higher conductivity and a lower shadowing effect. For volume production applications, a high throughput 40-nozzle Aerosol Jet deposition head prints a solar cell every 2.5 to 3 seconds. The non-contact nature of the Aerosol Jet system enables high-yield printing on thinner photovoltaic wafers.

Optomec Inc.
Albuquerque,NM; ph 505/761.8250
www.optomec.com

Developmental copper metallization process for solar cells

Designed to increase solar cell efficiency and reduce operating costs, the developmental copper metallization process reportedly brings more electricity from cell to panel to grid than occurs when plating on top of paste. This copper metallization process is expected to help solar producers increase profit margins, The process is based on a proprietary direct energy plating (DEP) technology, which uses ultrasonic energy to create the metal interconnect on the silicon wafers. It can be conducted on semiconductor and solar cell wafers. The DEP tool platform should allow solar producers to reduce the cost of producing solar cells and modules and increase performance levels.

Surfect Technologies Inc.
Tempe, AZ; ph 480/968.2897
www.surfect.com

Solar cell printing stencil

The Accuscreen prints current collector conductive fingers on silicon solar cells, allowing 100µm-wide lines to be printed 100µm high. The thin collector conductive finger allows more area to be exposed to solar energy, reportedly improving output efficiency; the tall conductor finger provides more efficient current-carrying ability to reduce resistive losses. The AccuScreen stencil product is manufactured by a proprietary electroforming process.

Photo Stencil
Colorado Springs, CO; ph 719/599.4305
www.photostencil.com

Software package targeting photovoltaic cell efficiency

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The Discover Solar software package is designed to automate process control and perform root cause analysis closer to real time. Discover Solar is a fab management software tool designed to help photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers increase cell efficiency and reduce costs. The software, which operates with in-line data, reduces scrap and downtime by identifying root-causes of yield issues. The tool incorporates a re-engineered database structure and analysis engine optimized for the requirements of high-volume PV production and varying amount of in-line metrics available. Using in-line metrology, equipment, and cell test data, the software’s path analysis equations allow for faster and more automated correlation between a problem and a specific line, line tool, or batch of wafers. Discover Solar allows engineers to pinpoint a problem on the process tools, inline metrology, tool input parameters, and cell test data by showing out-of-spec results after a particular process during PV manufacturing. The software can also call out a bad batch of wafers by identifying variations between wafers run over the same recipe in the same tools. Finally, it can alert users to ?hidden? correlations between scrap or inefficient cells and multiple errors at different steps, resolving or preventing second-order effects. Discover Solar also has alarming functions, which can be set to report out-of-spec operation automatically. The release targets process optimization and health monitoring.

Rudolph Technologies Inc.
Flanders, NJ; ph 973/448.4302
www.rudolphtech.com

Thermal interface material for cPV

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The NanoBond process was developed for use as a thermal interface material (TIM) in concentrated photovoltaic (cPV) solar systems. An application note is available to assist users in applying this new process. NanoBond, a joining process using NanoFoil, replaces traditional adhesives, targeting improved thermal management at the TIM1 interface in cPV receiver applications. It joins thick, stress-absorbing solder layers together using NanoFoil. The solder reportedly bonds the ceramic substrate to metal heatsinks with improved thermal conductivity and lower junction temperatures (Tj max), bettering efficiency and product lifecycle.

Reactive NanoTechnologies Inc. (RNT)
Hunt Valley, MD; ph 410/771.9801 x134 www.rntfoil.com

Reflow and curing ovens

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The compact RO-VARIO reflow and curing oven offers a modular and flexible design for a number of solder and hardness tasks in the electronics and solar engineering industries. RO-VARIO is expandable up to 14 zones. Apart from the number of heating and cooling zones, the transport system also is designed to be modular. The RO-VARIO can be used as full convection reflow oven, IR curing oven with special slow forward feed, or UV hardness system. Various transport systems are available. To a mesh belt, which has an operation width of 600mm, the oven can be configured with pin chain drive or as chain over belt. Up to five separate tracks can be fed through the oven at the pin chain drive for use in the solar industry. The chain profiles also can be configured as center supports. Using a special shifting system, all tracks and/or center supports will be adjusted individually and automatically to the various transportation widths. Absolute parallelism of the individual tracks is ensured for 14-zone ovens. The heating chambers were redeveloped with efficient heat protection and rivets rather than welds. All heating chambers are floating mounted, allowing the chamber to expand without blocking or bending the frame, the cap, or the transport system. The complete frame of the cap can be opened parallel, including the covering and the heating chambers. The driving system of the fans, placed outside of the ?hot zone,? is mounted on the heating chambers. By the use of the unique driving concept and the assembly of a cool environment, MTBF can be minimized by factors. The driving process is monitored by a sensor in the last chamber.

Essemtec
Aesch, Switzerland, ph +41 (0)41 919 60 60
www.essemtec.com.

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