Shimadzu Corporation Introduced MCXS Anti-Reflective Coating System and SCI
Series Cell Inspection Systems that Support for Solar Cell Manufacture
–– Contribute to High Reliability, High Productivity, and Low Costs ––
KYOTO, Japan -- March 22, 2013
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.
Plasma CVD system for the deposition of anti-reflective coating on crystalline
silicon solar cells: ...
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
128,600MW, 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
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
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 1,000V. 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 100nm/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.
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
MCXS 170 million yen (including automatic transport mechanism, tax
SCI-8SM 10 million yen (including lighting power supply, tax not
SCI-8S 5 million yen (including lighting power supply, tax not
MCXS W4,000 x D7,500 x H2,500 mm (main unit, including automatic
SCI-8SM W306 x D310 x H951 mm (main unit, including lighting power
SCI-8S W193 x D193 x H315 mm (main unit, lighting power supply not
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
Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:
Tetsuya Tanigaki, +81-75-823-1110
Public Relations Department
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