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CIGS and CdTe solar cell processing simplified by Singulus

The German based firm has introduced what it says is the first solar cell processing tool to clean rear side and edges in one step and has already received orders for several systems.

At the Intersolar industry exhibition in Munich, Singulus Technolgies unveiled an enhanced wet-chemical processing system for thin film solar processing, the VITRUM GEN 2.

The firm will showcase the tool at the Intersolar North America from July 12 to 14 in the Moscone Centre in San Francisco (USA).


With its innovative Solar portfolio including new production and process concepts, the company underlines its leading position of its successful and high-efficiency solar production technologies. The US market launch of the VITRUM GEN 2 will be in the spotlight at the Singulus booth # 9335. The company says it offers substantial cost-saving potential and can easily be integrated into already existing manufacturing lines.

As part of the product family VITRUM GEN 2 the new processing machine simultaneously cleans back-sides and edges of thin film solar cells in a single working step. In addition to the automated process control, the new single-side etching tool protects the active layer by process hoods and performs pencil and rear side etching with brushes and chemicals.

Singulus Says the VITRUM GEN 2 is the only tool on the market that cleans the rear side and the edges in one single step without any harm to the active layers. It is used for cleaning after oven processes as well as for etching of undesirable coatings on rear side and edges, for example CdTe or CdS.

The VITRUM GEN 2, developed by Singulus STANGL SOLAR in Fürstenfeldbruck (Germany), enables reducing the production steps for a-Si/µc-Si, CIGS and CdTe thin film solar cell and saves production costs.

The VITRUM GEN 2 provides the platform for several different process steps: During a CdTe manufacturing process it performs six steps, starting with glass washing, back side cleaning CdTe, CdCl2deposition using roller and salt removal to glass washing and developer. When producing a-Si/µc-Si and CIS/CIGS cells VITRUM features glass washing as well as TCO etching, KCN etching or NH3treatment respectively. In addition it also provides NP, DAE and EDTA etching for substrate sizes up to 2,200.

In comparison to dipping processes, the second generation VITRUM enables homogeneous, reliable and reproducible etching. It features further advantages in compared to a dipping bath such as a higher etch length and concentration, a higher process speed of up to 5 m/min and minimized carryover.

The new design of the VITRUM GEN 2 improves the accessibility for optimized maintenance work in a large installation cabinet. Piping is similar for all liquid circuits. It offers a high cycle rate and is also easy to integrate into existing production lines. The new VITRUM GEN 2 substantially reduces the investment outlay and very rapidly pays its way.

Orders for several systems were received straight after the new version’s launch in Germany. The first of these innovative systems will be shipped before the end of June 2011. The new system concept was presented at the Intersolar industry exhibition in Munich, and met with considerable interest among customers. Further sales are consequently also under negotiation.

Singulus plans to further expand its activities in the segments Solar and Optical Disc. The goal is to attain a leading position in the silicon and thin film solar technology and to maintain the technologic leadership in the Optical Disc segment.
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