Company News

New TCO Spray Pyrolysis System Provides Cost Effective Alternative to Solar Manufacturers

Sono-Tek Corporation, Milton NY USA, announces a new TCO production volume ultrasonic spray pyrolysis system for thin film solar cell manufacturing. This new wet process spray system will be highlilghted at SNEC PV 2012, May 16-18 in Shanghai, China.

Using patented, proprietary ultrasonic nozzle technology, Sono-Tek’s Impact ARRAY system is designed to deposit uniform Transparent Conductive Oxide (TCO) layers in spray pyrolysis applications. Previously, these layers have been formed using CVD or sputtering deposition processes. This new inline ultrasonic spray pyrolysis system gives manufacturers a viable alternative to costly, complicated vacuum deposition techniques.

Spray pyrolysis deposition of TCO chemistries such as ITO, AZO and ZnO requires high temperature reactions spraying corrosive acid solutions, with heat tolerances of up to 600 degrees Celcius substrate temperatures. The IMPACT ARRAY coating system is able to meet the difficult corrosive and high temperature challenges of these spray applications for high volume manufacturing. High temperature protected construction with a unique cooling design protects ultrasonics and nozzle components from high temperatures. The ultrasonic nozzle design provides an easily controllable atomized spray that cannot clog because of the large feed orifice and the self-cleaning ultrasonic vibration.

In a high temperature ultrasonic spray pyrolysis process, precursor solutions such as Zinc are sprayed onto a substrate heated to approximately 450-500 degrees Celcius. The solvent is exaporated in transit and the ZnO cyrstalline film is grown on the substrate surface, often soda-lime or other glass. Substrate temperature often dictates the morphology characteristics of the film.

Sono-Tek has over 35 years of expertise in ultrasonic spray technology, with hundreds of patented spray systems installed worldwide for continuous glass manufacturing and advanced energy applications, including world class service and support. For more information, go to or visit Sono-Tek at booth E3-802 for International Solar Cell Equipment
W1-816 & W1-817 for Thin Film SolarShow.