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Thin Film Solar Coating Overview

Solar Cell Sample
Thin Film Solar Cell Manufacturing Equipment


Ultrasonic spray technology has been proven successful for depositing thin film coatings of anti-reflection layers, TCO coatings, Buffer layer coatings, PEDOT, and active layers in thin film solar cell manufacturing. CIGs, CdTE, CzTs, Perovskite, and DSC are some of the solutions and suspensions that can be deposited using ultrasonic wet process spray technology in manufacturing thin film solar cells. At a fraction of the cost of CVD and sputtering equipment, ultrasonic atomizing spray nozzle systems reduce cost per watt for manufacturing thin film solar cells, while still providing high cell efficiencies.

Active Layers

Active Layers:

  • CIS
  • CIGS
  • CdTe
  • CZTS
  • DSC

Quantum Dots
Nano-crystal semiconducting dots contain Zn, Pb, Cd, Se.
Advantages of ultrasonic spray include drastic reduction in cost of capital equipment for initial investment, deagglomeration of particles held in suspension during spray process, proven scalable production solutions for migration from R&D to production volume with inline processing, and transfer efficiencies as high as 95%, reducing consumption of expensive raw materials.

Buffer and/or Organic Layers
Typical materials Sono-Tek coating equipment is used for:
CdS – a common buffer layer used in CIGS, CDTe cells
Organic Cell Polymers – PEDOT, PCBM, P3HT, P3HD

ExactaCoat Inert, a fully inert glovebox spray system, meets the unique needs of Organic Solar Cell manufacturing.

TCO Layers

TCO Layers
TCO (Transparent Conductive Oxide) consists of metals dissolved in solution having high conductive and transparent properties. Sometimes applied at high temperatures in pyrolysis reaction. and often require high temperature annealing at 500 – 600 degrees C.

TCO layers requiring high temperature are typically coated with the FlexiCoat SC, using a spray pyrolysis technique.

Typical materials Sono-Tek coating equipment is used for:

  • ITO
  • ZnO (Doped with Ga, Al, In)
  • CdO
  • SnO2

CNT Deposition

CNTs/Silver Nanowires (AGNW)/Graphene
CNTs have potential to replace ITO in TCO layers due to abundant raw material, excellent stiction and extremely high conductivity. Sono-Tek ultrasonic nozzle provide great benefit in depositing TCOs due to deagglomeration of particles during the atomization process. Ultrasonic vibrations keep particle homogenously distributed in solution.

Anti-Reflection (AR) Coatings
AR Coatings increase cell efficiencies by 3-4%. Sono-Tek provides R&D through high volume production systems for depositing:

  • SiO2
  • TiO2
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