Balancing Deposition Rate with Film Quality for PECVD Productivity

 Balancing Deposition Rate with Film Quality for PECVD Productivity

Solar Industry Magazine featuredApplied Materials’ plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD)technology in this month’s print issue. Read the follownig short excerpt of the article.

Although thin-film silicon so¬lar cellsuse substantially lower amounts of raw materials than their siliconwafer-based counterparts, they also depend on vacuum-based silicondeposition systems. The capital productivity of these systems is a keycontributor to overall solar cell cost.

To improve capital productivity, both the performance of individual deposition systems and deployment of thosesystems in the process line must be optimized. Continuing ad¬vances inplasma-enhanced chemi¬cal vapor deposition technology are on track toincrease microcrystalline silicon deposition rates by more than 50% bythe end of the year and dou¬ble the position rate through furtherequipment enhancements.

Plasma-enhanced chemical va¬pordeposition (PECVD) is a critical step in thin-film silicon solar mod¬ule manufacturing. The quality of the PECVD layers defines the per¬formance of the module, while the deposition rate largely determines its cost.Unfortunately, these two param¬eters conflict: Slower depositiongen¬erally produces higher-quality films, but it drives processing costs up.

Two central goals of equipment design are to maximize the deposition rate while maintaining film quality, and tomaximize overall equipment productivity. This article explains howprocess parameters contribute to module performance and cost, andillustrates various approaches to PECVD optimization.

To access the full article download the PDF at the bottom of thisblog post.