By Andy Choi
Applied Materials in collaboration with Zeta Instruments, a manufacturer of precision optical profilers designed for micron-scale surface analysis, has published a paper titled, 'Texture Process Monitoring in Solar Cell Manufacturing Using Optical Metrology,’ which was presented at the 37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialists Conference 2011.
The research identifies a technology that improves the manufacturing process and the effectiveness of solar cells for the solar semiconductor wafer sector.
Authored by materials and metrology experts at both Applied Materials and Zeta Instruments, the paper explains that with the support of the recent innovative optical profiler monitoring systems, the composition of etchant compounds and the duration of its exposure to silicon wafers can be controlled, thus producing surface textures that can optimize the absorption of light. The paper also illustrates the possibility of improving the manufacturing consistency and efficiency of photovoltaic cells.
The researchers have determined surface texturing techniques that provide minimal reflectivity, which is an important factor in solar cell effectiveness and solar cell production. The use of Zeta-20 optical profiler allowed researchers to promptly gather detailed surface data in a cost-effective manner.
A co-author of the publication, Kapila Wijekoon who works at Applied Materials stated that the availability of advanced, cost-effective metrology tools that provide precision calculations and measurements supply solar manufacturers with the aid to improve the quality and effectiveness of their wafer design.
Zeta Instruments will be showcasing the metrology technology that enabled the findings at the Intersolar North America conference being held from 12 to 14 July 2011 in San Francisco, California.