Above: CIGSolar Evaporation Crucible Access Ports
To the left and below, the evaporation chamber is continuing to take shape. You can see the degree of detail and how we have segmented the evaporation areas into numerous zones.
The CIGSolar™ technology leverages the use of numerous small area deposition zones to create and maintain precise evaporation conditions necessary to produce the highest quality CIGS films.
Above: Crucible Access and Cooling System
While the use of small area evaporation zones helps to reduce film imperfections, we realized that the system still had to provide acceptable production throughput rates.
In its baseline 40 megawatt production configuration, CIGSolar™ is designed to provide initial rates of .85 sq. meters per minute. Our goal is to eventually improve our process and meet our goal of 1 square meter per minute – a production rate that we believe will be industry leading.
Above: Portions of the Material Transport System
The picture to the left shows portions of the CIGSolar™ material transport system taking shape. Each process area, or zone, functions independently to allow transport of substrates at pre-defined rates. This feature will allow us to adjust zones independently as we work to improve production rates in the future.
As we complete bench testing of the material transport system, these assemblies are being added to the main process chamber where further testing will occur.