Thin Film Solar Cells

Renewable energy wouldn't be possible without vacuum. One example are Photovoltaics (PV) which are best known as a method for generating electrical power by using solar cells to convert energy from the sun into a flow of electrons by the photovoltaic effect.

Application requirements

  • Long maintenance intervals and maximum uptime

  • Carbon free vacuum

  • Simplest on-site maintenance

  • High suction speed and fast pump down

How does it work?

There are various types of solar cell technologies - one of the major technologies is based on thin film deposition. The main advantage of this technology is the low material consumption within the solar cell production. Beside materials like Cadmium Telluride (CdTe), Copper-Indium-Gallium-Selenide (CIGS) will be often used for the absorber layers. These layers can be deposited on inflexible substrates like glass or on flexible substrates like metal band or foil or on flexible thin glass and then the substrate is inserted into a big vacuum chamber. In this chamber several PVD processes like sputtering or evaporation take place to generate a multilayered solar cell. To deposit these layers, a vacuum in the range of 10-3 to 10-6 hPa is needed depending on the process. Due to the large surfaces, a high suction speed is inevitable. This vacuum needs to be clean and carbon free to ensure high quality layers.

Product portfolio

Pfeiffer Vacuum has a complete product portfolio for your system along with a team of experts to find the right solution for your application. We offer dry and oil lubricated pumps and pumping systems with high suction speeds. With our hybrid or magnetic levitated turbopumps we ensure a low base pressure. To guarantee process stability and safety, our pressure gauges and leak detectors are the right choice.