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MicroLink chooses ClassOne tool for Solar Cells


Solstice S8 electroplating system will be used for electroplating solar cells for UAVs and satellites

Semiconductor equipment manufacturer ClassOne Technology has announced the sale of its Solstice S8 electroplating system to MicroLink Devices, a manufacturer of advanced, lightweight, and flexible solar cells. The new 8-chambered Solstice equipment, designed specifically for ≤200mm processing, will be installed at the MicroLink facility in Niles, Illinois, where it will be used for electroplating of semiconductor based solar cells for use on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and space satellites. The announcement was made jointly by ClassOne Group CEO, Byron Exarcos, and MicroLink Devices CEO and President, Noren Pan.

“We were especially interested in the Solstice's high-speed automation and its ability to maximize control and uniformity of our electroplating processes,” said Pan. “Compared with our previous wet bench processing, the new Solstice will enable us to control the electroplating process much more precisely and maintain tighter consistency week to week across production runs. This is critical for achieving the high reliability required for solar cells that power unmanned aerial vehicles and satellites.”

"It is also important to note that MicroLink is getting the special CopperMax version of our Solstice plating system," said Exarcos. “This unique tool is specifically designed to optimise copper plating processes, and it’s getting a great deal of attention today for its high performance and low cost of ownership."

“ClassOne is proud to be working with MicroLink on this important, leading-edge program,” said Exarcos. “And it’s more than just supplying equipment, because our depth of experience in automated wet processing also enables us to assist MicroLink in setting up and optimising their next-generation processes. Partnering with our customers in this way allows us to more deeply understand their objectives and achieve more effective solutions using the Solstice.”

Specifically designed for ≤200mm substrates, the Solstice S8 is a fully-automated 8-chamber system with up to 75-wph throughput. Special CopperMax and GoldPro versions of the tool provide additional optimisations of copper and gold processes respectively, and their exceptional cost/performance is rapidly making these tools leaders in their categories.

The Solstice is also available in 4-chamber and 2-chamber configurations. In addition to electroplating, the tool’s special Plating-Plus capabilities enable it to handle a number of other important functions, including wafer cleaning, high-pressure metal lift-off, resist strip, UBM etch and more. This multi-processing flexibility often reduces the number of different tools a user needs to purchase.

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