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Institute of Energy and Climate Research

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5-Chamber PECVD System


Motivation and Objective

The majority of the development work for films and solar cells at IPV is carried out in laboratory-scale systems for substrate sizes up to 10×10 cm². New ideas and innovative concepts in solar cell production can be implemented rapidly thanks to the versatile features of our 5-chamber plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) system and the availability of various process gases (see also our 6-chamber system and cluster system).


The 5-chamber system has five deposition chambers, two of which are for p-doped films and n-doped films, respectively. The other chambers are used exclusively for intrinsic silicon films. One of these i chambers is also designed for etching processes using gases that contain fluorine and chlorine. The substrates can be transferred between the different process chambers under vacuum conditions. The deposition plasma can be analysed in detail with our advanced state-of-the-art equipment for optical emission spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and electrical high-frequency analysis.

Manufacturer/electrode designMRG Inc. (Colorado, USA), Forschungszentrum Jülich and FAP GmbH (Dresden, Germany)
Base pressure1×10-8 mbar
Substrate temperatureroom temperature up to 350 °C
Plasma excitation freq.   13.56 - 120 MHz
Substrate areaup to 10×10 cm²


  • development of p- and n-doped silicon contact films
  • analysis of the plasma-enhanced deposition process for undoped amorphous (a-Si:H) and microcrystalline (µc-Si:H) silicon, taking into account, amongst other factors, process stability, reproducibility, deposition homogeneity, deposition rate, gas yield, impurities and materials properties
  • influence of impurities on the solar cell properties
  • plasma impedance studies
  • development of amorphous (a-Si:H) and microcrystalline (µc-Si:H) silicon solar cells
  • development of (µc-Si:H) thin-film transistors (TFTs)
  • analysis of in situ purification processes for coated chambers by means of plasma etching
  • transfer of lab developments to pilot production runs, production lines or system development at industry partners (Cooperation).