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Sono-Tek Coating Equipment Enables Research & Development in Production Feasibility of Thin Film Solar Cells at TOBB University of Economics and Technology (TOBB ETU) in Ankara, Turkey

TOBB ETU recently published several technical articles outlining their research in the area of thin film solar cell fabrication, proving the feasibility of substituting high-cost traditional methods of thin film solar cell production. In particular, window and absorber layer deposition using Sono-Tek’s ultrasonic coating equipment showed favorable results.

“The main research interest of our group is focused on environmentally friendly, cost-efficient and solution processed chalcopyrite based thin film solar cells on both rigid and flexible substrates. For this topic, we have published numerous papers in different scientific journals. In these studies, we employed Sono-Tek’s FlexiCoat spray pyrolysis system with ultrasonic impact nozzles. Sono-Tek’s technology provided us remarkably high deposition yield (up to 40 times) with the same solution amount. Moreover, ultrasonic nozzles allowed us to obtain very homogenous thin films over large areas. Another advantage of this technology is to allow the process of thin films with very repeatable recipes. Additionally, with these tools we have fabricated flexible solar cells using spray pyrolysis technique for the first time in literature. Currently, the efficiency of our devices on glass substrates is ~5% without any toxic processing steps and our next target is obtaining efficiency results close to 10% .” said TOBB ETU team members Assoc. Prof. Nurdan Demirci Sankir, Assoc. Prof. Mehmet Sankir, Erkan Aydin, Emre Yarali, and Pelin Komurcu.

“We at Sono-Tek are excited to see TOBB ETU doing this important research: the production costs of today’s thin film solar cell technologies is one of the most challenging bottlenecks in making thin-film solar cells cost competitive and economically feasible for the marketplace. This is a great step in the right direction and we are proud to help facilitate TOBB’s research work with Sono-Tek’s technology” said Garrett Moye, Sono-Tek Corporation.

Sono-Tek has a long history of providing coating solutions that prove feasibility for alternative low cost manufacturing in energy as well as other industries. This research is yet another example of how ultrasonic spray can provide significant manufacturing process benefits.

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The following are publicly available recent technical articles TOBB ETU has published:
1. Influence of silver incorporation on the structural, optical and electrical properties of spray pyrolyzed indium sulfide thin films, Erkan Aydin, Mehmet Sankir, Nurdan Demirci Sankir, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, 08/2014; 603:119–124. DOI:10.1016/j.jallcom.2014.03.064

2. The non-toxic and environmentally friendly route for preparation of copper indium sulfide based thin film solar cells Nurdan Demirci Sankir, Erkan Aydin, Esma Ugur, Mehmet Sankir, Journal of Alloys and Compounds 04/2015; 640:468-474. DOI:10.1016/j.jallcom.2015.04.013

3. Influence of excitation frequency on structural and electrical properties of spray pyrolyzed CuInS2 thin films, Nurdan D. Sankir, Erkan Aydin, Mehmet Sankir, Ali Bozbey, Journal of Materials Processing Technology 09/2014; 214(9):1879–1885. DOI:10.1016/j.jmatprotec.2014.04.005

4. Preparation and characterization of cost effective spray pyrolyzed absorber layer for thin film solar cells, Nurdan D. Sankir, Erkan Aydin, Hulya Unver, Ezgi Uluer, Mehmet Parlak, Solar Energy 09/2013; 95:21-29. DOI:10.1016/j.solener.2013.05.024

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