Instruments Inc. (Nasdaq: VECO), announced the introduction of its FastLine
platform of Glass Coating Systems, leveraging Veeco's proven PV-Series Thermal
Deposition Sources. Veeco's new FastLine platform is designed for high
throughput, low cost of ownership production of CIGS (copper, indium, gallium
and selenium) solar cells.
Piero Sferlazzo, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Veeco's Solar Equipment
business, commented, "Veeco is now the only equipment company offering
integrated production-scale solutions for CIGS manufacturing on glass using
thermal evaporation sources for the CIGS/absorber layer. Customers can now
choose Veeco to provide comprehensive, fully integrated equipment to manufacture
CIGS solar cells, whether they choose to use our FastLine systems for glass or
our FastFlex systems for flexible substrates."
Thermal evaporation, as compared to other deposition methods, produces the
highest efficiency thin film solar cells and has the lowest materials costs with
high material utilization driving down the manufacturing cost per watt. Veeco's
FastLine systems can handle up to thirty 1.1m x 1.4m glass panels/hour. The
modular architecture of the system allows customers to scale their output
according to their needs.
The U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
has claimed a world record for CIGS thin-film solar cell conversion efficiency
of 19.9 percent. The conversion efficiency for CIGS is now close to that of
multi-crystalline silicon-based solar cells, according to NREL. This achievement
was hailed as an important milestone because the efficiency of thin film solar
cells is now achieving its goal of matching silicon in performance.