Improving cell efficiency is the main focus of cell manufacturers. While long-time standard aluminum back surface field (BSF) technology is not yielding the required efficiency boost, cell makers are increasingly looking at advanced cell concepts. Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell (PERC) architecture is not only part of most of the new expansions, many existing lines, especially monocrystalline lines, are being upgraded to this rather simple technology that is resulting in an up to 1% leap in absolute efficiency. PERC is certainly the hottest topic in cell processing today.
While we have published an overview report on PERC technology in English and Chinese in May 2017 (see TaiyangNews Report PERC 2017), this survey is about the most important integral part of this cell processing upgrade – aluminum oxide deposition systems.
Aluminum oxide based passivation is not only key for PERC cell production, it is equally important for nearly all advanced cell architectures, such as Passivated Emitter Rear Totally diffused (PERT) and Passivated Emitter and Rear Locally diffused (PERL) cells. The only difference between PERC and these other technologies is that the role of the dielectric changes – now being on the emitter side rather than being used for rear surface passivation. All advanced cell architectures require passivation on the front as well as the rear surfaces – and aluminum oxide is the material of choice for p-type (boron) doped surfaces.
However, two methods – PECVD and ALD – are employed in commercial production.
For the first TaiyangNews Market Survey on Aluminum Oxide Deposition Systems, 6 equipment makers from 5 countries have provided data for their products. Of these leading equipment suppliers in this field, 4 are ALD tool suppliers and 2 offer PECVD systems:
ALD – Equipment Suppliers:
- Ideal Energy (China)
- Levitech (The Netherlands)
- SoLayTec (The Netherlands)
- NCD (Korea)
PECVD – Equipment Suppliers:
- Centrotherm (Germany)
- Meyer Burger (Switzerland)
Market Survey in Detail: After providing a general overview, the basics of passivation are explained, followed by background information on aluminum oxide. Chapters on product details for PECVD and ALD equipment are complemented with details on different performance parameters. The survey contains tables with product specs of the above mentioned suppliers.
The TaiyangNews Market Survey on Aluminum Oxide Deposition Systems 2017 is for download free of charge here.