By Nick Gilbert
Smit Oven has completed the installation of 10 in line production systems for five of its customers operating in Copper Indium Gallium Selenium (CIGS) applications across the world.
Roll to Roll mass production
The installed production systems are capable of performing annealing or crystallization for mass production and pilot manufacture, selenium deposition and the generation of thin film CIGS cells by adopting the two step method of CIGS production process. The production system supports both sheet to sheet and roll to roll applications.
The In Line Production systems from Smit Oven are superior to other existing in line and batch production systems in terms of cost effectiveness as they can produce double the output. The Smit Oven systems also yield high productivity, improved uptime and enhanced layer quality owing to the repeatability in manufacture and high degree of flexibility incorporated. Few of the Smit Oven systems feature active selenium reactors that are connected to the annealing or crystallization reactor. The remaining components are configured for carrying out annealing for flexible substrates and glass. Overall process stability of the Smit Oven in Line Production systems is maintained by controlling the selenium pressure at every instance of the production process. Since the active selenium control process rectifies any differences in the thickness of the pre-deposited selenium layer, the dependence of the system output performance on precursor parameters is greatly reduced.
Wiro Zijlmans, CEO, Smit Ovens. stated that achievement of the installation milestone emphasizes the company’s strong relationship with its customers who endeavor to lead the worldwide CIGS market. According to him, the primary way to be competitive in the growing CIGS market is by advancing thermal processes for better cell efficiencies.