Veeco Instruments Inc. (Nasdaq: VECO) announced today that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Daiyang Metal Co., Ltd. of Korea, a leader in the production of cold rolled stainless steel, to be its supplier of equipment to manufacture CIGS (copper, indium, gallium, selenium) solar cells. As a first milestone in this relationship, Daiyang has placed an initial multi-million dollar purchase order with Veeco for its complement of FastFlex™ Web Coating Systems to build a thin-film CIGS solar cell production line in Yesan, Korea. This complement of tools is comprised of one Mo (Molybdenum) deposition system, one TCO (Transparent Conductive Oxide) deposition system and two CIGS deposition systems. Veeco currently expects to ship these systems during the fourth quarter of 2009, after which it expects to firm up a follow-on order with Daiyang.
Chan Ku Kang, Chief Executive Officer of Daiyang, commented, “Daiyang Metal has an aggressive multi-year, multi-site plan to become a leading worldwide manufacturer of CIGS solar cells. Our short term goal is to aggressively ramp to 200MW capacity during 2010 and 2011, which will entail the purchase of additional Veeco systems. Ultimately it is our goal to achieve one gigawatt of CIGS production capacity by 2013. We spent a lot of time researching and surveying the suppliers of CIGS manufacturing tools, and were very impressed with the level of process support and collaboration we received from Veeco during that period. We chose Veeco because they are best prepared to meet our manufacturing and technology needs today and in the future.”
John R. Peeler, Veeco’s Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are pleased to be selected by Daiyang as they enter the CIGS solar cell market. This partnership is especially important to us because together, with Daiyang as the substrate manufacturer and Veeco as the production equipment supplier, we can accelerate the solar industry’s efficiency roadmap. CIGS is emerging as the next generation solar technology, offering combined benefits of higher efficiencies and lower costs when compared with silicon.”
Market research firm Nanomarkets estimates CIGS production capacity will reach 1.4 GW in 2012 and 4.9 GW in 2015 (a 30x increase over 2008’s 152 MW). CIGS solar cells offer the broadest range of applications of any thin film solar technology – they can be used in solar farms, in BIPV (building integrated PV), flat and pitched roofs, rooftop shingles and in portable devices.
Piero Sferlazzo, Ph.D., Senior Vice President of Veeco’s Solar Equipment business, commented, “Daiyang’s selection of Veeco is confirmation of our leadership in thermal evaporation sources. Thermal source technology is quickly becoming the preferred CIGS deposition method because it provides customers with high volume, low cost manufacturing solutions that drive down the manufacturing cost per watt.”
Veeco’s FastFlex platform features flexible architecture with high uptime that can be configured to specific needs, with a choice of rotary or planar magnetrons for high throughput, high temperature effusion sources, and substrate sizes up to one meter wide.