PARIS – French chip equipment company Altatech Semiconductor SA (Grenoble, France) said it has introduced the AltaCVD Solarlab, a multi-chamber vapor deposition (CVD) system that is claimed to reduce cycle times and materials consumption in fabricating advanced single-junction, tandem-junction and triple-junction photovoltaics cells.
AltaCVD Solarlab is an extension of Altatech's CVD technology for use in solar cell development. It enables customers to deposit transparent conducting oxide (TCO) films that deliver the superior optical characteristics, high doping mobility and smooth, defect-free surfaces needed to optimize efficiency of their solar cells, Altatech said.
The AltaCVD Solarlab system has the versatility to perform standard thermal CVD processing as well as plasma-enhanced CVD and atomic-layer deposition, Altatech continued. These processes can be run from 100°C to 800°C to create photosensitive films that can maximize the efficiency of PV cells in converting sunlight to electricity. The system can also handle a variety of substrates, including transparent glass and both round or square silicon wafers with thicknesses ranging from 150 microns to several centimeters.
Altatech's AltaCVD Solarlab tool
In Dec. 2012, Soitec SA (Bernin, France) said it acquired Altatech to enable the company to accelerate its development roadmap in the electroluminescent diodes area, as well as in the concentrating photovoltaic systems. For the purposes of the transaction, Altatech's value was set to 15 million euro (about $19.6 million), Soitec said.
Soitec said it plans to start shipping AltaCVD Solarlab systems to customers by the end of 2012.
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