VSEA ion implant for solar data debuts during EU PVSEC

Concurrent with EU PVSEC, VSEA will present new information about how ion implant technology can improve solar cell efficiency while reducing manufacturing costs. Varian’s Solion Blue process is used to produce efficient P-type mono-crystalline silicon photovoltaics.

(September 2, 2010) — New information about how ion implant technology can improve solar cell efficiency while reducing manufacturing costs will be presented at Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates’ (NASDAQ: VSEA) vTech technical seminar, held in conjunction with next week’s European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition (EU PVSEC) in Valencia, Spain. Varian is inviting cell manufacturers and technology partners to attend the vTech event at a venue near the Feria Valencia Exhibition Center on September 7. Varian’s Solion Blue process is used to produce efficient P-type mono-crystalline silicon photovoltaics.

The main focus of this vTech, the second of the summer, will be to review cell efficiency and manufacturing data gathered by select customers and partners utilizing Varian’s Solion Blue process. Solion Blue is designed to produce high-efficiency P-type mono-crystalline solar cells utilizing the proprietary patterned implant technology of Varian’s Solion ion implant platform. Solion Blue fully exploits all the inherent advantages of ion implant including high throughput, high precision and superior junction formation.

The Solion Blue process reduces manufacturing costs and increases cell efficiency by increasing the blue-light response of the solar cell and eliminating the “dead zone” from the cell surface. By using Varian’s Precision Patterned Implant (PPI) technology, contact regions on the cell surface can be doped to 50 ohms/sq while the field is doped more lightly at 80 ohms/sq. The lighter-doped field region will have inherently better blue response than cells utilizing blanket doping with phosphorous oxychloride (POCl3). Typically, average conversion efficiencies of a standard POCl3 process will increase to greater than 18.5% by implementing Solion Blue. Current champion data has shown cell efficiencies approaching 19%.

By eliminating the use of POCl3, Solion Blue users will achieve a simplified process flow that is easy to integrate into existing manufacturing lines. Edge-isolation process steps are eliminated, and the phosphor-silicate glass surface passivation layer created by the POCl3 process is replaced by a superior thermal oxide layer, further increasing efficiency, according to VSEA.

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The vTech at Valencia will be the first public presentation of Solion Blue customer data.

Those interested in attending the vTech conference in Valencia are invited to email james.kawski@vsea.com to request a reservation. US-based solar industry members can also request demos at the company’s Gloucester, MA, facility.

Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates supplies ion implant equipment to semiconductor manufacturers. For more information, visit www.vsea.com

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