Shimadzu Corporation Introduced MCXS Anti-Reflective Coating System and SCI Series Cell Inspection Systems that Support for Solar Cell Manufacture<7701.T>

Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:00am EDT

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-- Contribute to High Reliability, High Productivity, and Low Costs -- 
KYOTO, Japan--(Business Wire)--
Shimadzu Corporation (TOKYO:7701) today introduced the MCXS anti-reflective
coating system and two SCI series cell inspection system models for the
crystalline silicon solar cell production process.

http://mms.businesswire.com/bwapps/mediaserver/ViewMedia?mgid=361907&vid=4
Plasma CVD system for the deposition of anti-reflective coating on crystalline
silicon solar cells: Shimadzu's MCXS is capable of forming anti-reflective
coating that are highly resistant to PID at high throughput and low running
costs. (Photo: Business Wire)

[Background to Development]

The solar cell market is experiencing increased demand in China, which has
introduced preferential policies to secure areas of demand and to cultivate
local companies, in the USA and India, where good conditions are in place for
solar power systems, and in Japan, which has started feed-in tariffs for
renewable energy. In the long term, huge increases in energy demand due to
economic growth and improved living standards in developing countries are
expected to increase demand for solar energy in regions with good insolation
conditions, including Africa, the Middle East, South America, and South-East
Asia. By 2030, it is predicted that the total output will increase to 128,600
MW, which is 3.2 times the 2012 level.*1

This situation demands lower manufacturing costs and high resistance to
Potential Induced Degradation (PID), which can cause problems of reduced output
from megasolar and other solar power systems.
These issues must also be resolved for the anti-reflective coating and
associated deposition systems that suppress the reflection of sunlight and
enhance energy absorption to contribute to enhanced power generation efficiency,
and a high level of performance and productivity is demanded from them.
Shimadzu has adopted a newly developed hollow-cathode plasma source and the
direct plasma method to create the MCXS plasma CVD system, which is capable of
forming anti-reflective coating that are highly resistant to PID at high
throughput and low running costs. By terminating crystal defects on the surface
and inside of the substrate with a high-density plasma and improving the
performance of solar cells, this system contributes to a higher conversion
efficiency.
Thanks to the high rate deposition achieved by the low-frequency, high-density
plasma, crystalline silicon solar cell modules produced by the MCXS system offer
high PID resistance. This has been proved by the verification results from the
Phase II Consortium Study on Fabrication and Characterization of Solar Cell
Modules with Long Life and High Reliability, conducted by the National Institute
of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST). 

On the other hand, the competition for solar cell quality is becoming ever more
severe. To achieve more stringent quality control while increasing productivity,
there are strong demands to automate the inspection processes that are currently
performed manually at the solar cell production stage.
To meet these demands, Shimadzu has developed the new SCI-8SM Compound
Inspection System, which performs simultaneous inspections of microcracks and
wafer appearance in a single system, and the SCI-8S Exterior Inspection System,
the most compact instrument in the field*2.
These inspection systems help avoid lengthy production halts due to production
line stoppages and contribute to enhanced yield. 

Through the introduction of these three systems into the ever-expanding solar
cell market, Shimadzu is contributing to the widespread adoption of
environmentally friendly renewable energy. 

*1: Investigation by Fuji-Keizai; *2: Investigation by Shimadzu 

[Features of MCXS]

1. Proof of High PID Resistance
These tests conducted by AIST were performed for 168 hours at 25 °C, with the
module cover glass immersed in water, and at 1,000 V. The results indicate no
drop-off in output from solar cell modules manufactured using deposition by the
Shimadzu system.
This product contributes to the supply of highly reliable solar cells. 

2. Contribution to Enhanced Solar Cell Production Capacity
The newly developed hollow-cathode plasma source generates high-density plasma
that improves the decomposition efficiency of the source gas and achieves the
highest deposition rate (at least 100 nm/minute) by the direct plasma method in
the industry. Furthermore, the inline high-speed transport mechanism achieves a
throughput of over 1,700 wafers per hour, higher than that of any other
conventional system in the class, to contribute to higher production capacity of
the overall production line. 

3. Lower Cost
As well as high-speed deposition and compact system design achieved by vertical
substrate loading, the system also reduces the upkeep and maintenance expenses
through longer maintenance periods, one-third the power consumption of previous
systems, and half the running costs. That is, it is an energy-saving
manufacturing system that reduces the energy costs associated with solar cell
manufacture and improves the efficiency of source gas use. 

[Features of SCI-8SM]

1. Simultaneous Rapid Inspections of Microcracks and Wafer Appearance
The SCI-8SM inspection system is a single system that handles various
inspections and measurements previously performed by separate test instruments,
including microcrack inspections (fine cracks in the wafer that adversely affect
the conversion efficiency and crack rate during production), wafer external
inspections for cracks or bumps, inspections for particles on the
anti-reflective coating, and film-thickness and distribution measurements. It
offers rapid measurement times of less than one second per wafer. 

2. Quicker Film-Thickness Measurements
Conventional instruments used multiple standard samples to perform
film-thickness measurements. This required over five hours' preparation time
before measurements could start, including creating the calibration curve. The
SCI-8SM employs calculation techniques developed according to a unique
measurement principle based on optical theory and enables rapid calculation of
film thickness from the reflection intensity of visible light. This feature
permits immediate measurements without the need for any preparation time. 

[Features of SCI-8S]

Most Compact Instrument in the Industry
A unique, specially developed optical system that minimizes the aberration
offers the same high functionality as the SCI-8SM but is 15 % more compact (by
volume) than conventional instruments in its class. It is the most compact
exterior inspection system in the industry.
It can be installed on a new production line or retrofitted in a restricted
space on an existing production line to improve wafer quality.

                                                                                                  
 Names:                                                                                           
 MCXS Plasma CVD System for the Deposition of Anti-Reflective Coating on Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells 
 SCI-8SM Compound Inspection System for Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells                           
 SCI-8S Exterior Inspection System for Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells                            
                                                                                                  
 Prices:                                                                                          
 MCXS           170 million yen (including automatic transport mechanism, tax not included)       
 SCI-8SM        10 million yen (including lighting power supply, tax not included)                
 SCI-8S         5 million yen (including lighting power supply, tax not included)                 
                                                                                                  
 Dimensions:                                                                                      
 MCXS           W4,000 x D7,500 x H2,500 mm (main unit, including automatic transport mechanism)  
 SCI-8SM        W306 x D310 x H951 mm (main unit, including lighting power supply)                
 SCI-8S         W193 x D193 x H315 mm (main unit, lighting power supply not included)             
                                                                                                  


For more details, visit this page: MCXS, SCI series

About Shimadzu Corporation

Founded in 1875, Shimadzu Corporation, a leader in the development of advanced
technologies, has a distinguished history of innovation built on the foundation
of contributing to society through science and technology. Shimadzu maintains a
global network of sales, service, technical support and applications centers on
six continents, and has established long-term relationships with a host of
highly trained distributors located in over 100 countries.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:
http://www.businesswire.com/multimedia/home/20130322005003/en/

Shimadzu Corporation
Tetsuya Tanigaki, +81-75-823-1110
Public Relations Department
pr@group.shimadzu.co.jp




Copyright Business Wire 2013

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