The process technology group investigates solar cell technology and optimizes technology- processes for the production of silicon-based thin-film solar cells with a particular focus on the industrial feasibility. The deposition of amorphous and microcrystalline silicon thin-film solar cells plays a significant role. In particular, process control through various diagnostic methods is under investigation that allows making the production lines for solar modules intelligent and efficient. An interdisciplinary team is working on a wide range of scientific and technological issues in order to contribute to the understanding of the growth properties of silicon and to improve process stability.
The gas-phase deposition of silicon by PECVD (Plasma Enhanced Chemical Vapor Deposition) is the basis for the studies of the work group. Various PECVD systems are being used, where different types of solar cells can be realized and studied. By means of various spectroscopic methods which are incorporated in the deposition reactor technology, plasma analysis and in-situ characterization of materials can be performed.
Another field of work of the group is the development of nano-technology semiconductor processes. For example glass substrates, which are the basis of thin film modules, can be structured by means of the so-called nano-imprint technology which is of great benefit for the light management of the solar cell. These nano-technology processes are developed in a clean room laboratory that is available to the IEK5.
The dialogue between scientific research and industrial implementation plays an important role in the process development group. Through the exchange of experiences and new insights we can study and develop commercial processes in detail.