Q-Cells, Singulus to develop solar cell coating tool

Mar. 26, 2008 – German firms Q-Cells and Singulus Technologies say they are codeveloping a fully automatic tool to apply antireflection coatings onto solar cells, utilizing Q-Cells solar cell manufacturing know-how with Singulus’ coating technology.

The deal centers on a vacuum coating process used in mass production of CDs and DVDs, and technology enabling “an especially high coating quality” of anti-reflection layers, to improve light transmission and passivation characteristics and thus energy efficiencies, the companies noted. For Q-Cells, it says it mainly wants the collaboration to lead to lower processing costs compared to the current technology. A Singulus tool will be tested in Q-Cells’ existing and new production during the current year.

“In order to come closer to the PV industry’s target to make solar power compatible, the significant reduction of production costs is essential,” said Q-Cells CTO Florian Holzapfel, in a statement. Key to achieving this, he added, is that “cell developers with their process know-how work closely together with equipment producers.”

Stefan Baustert, CEO of Singulus Technologies, added that his company’s systems are already contributing to a “continuous increase in cycle frequency and production output” for CD and DVD production volumes, and now “we want to apply our experience in automation and coating to solar cell production.”

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