Winter Issue 2012

1 February, 2012

SPOTLIGHT: Solar Manufacturing

Solar electricity generation is playing an increasingly important role in the global move toward more environmentally friendly energy sources. With photovoltaic (PV) devices being the fundamental building blocks in the solar revolution, achieving high-quality, high-volume PV manufacturing is a key element for success. Deploying process control systems and strategies throughout the solar fab line is essential for helping solar cell manufacturers improve efficiency, yield, and thus, overall profitability.

SPOTLIGHT: Solar Manufacturing

Jeff Donnelly, Group VP of KLA’s Growth and Emerging Markets provides an overview of process control in manufacturing, solar PV trends, and the benefits of automated process control for solar manufacturing.



PV Inspection

Portraying Development from a Product Point of View

With increasing importance being placed on optical inspection in the bid to raise the quality of solar cell manufacturing, the systems that are already in the market are offering more capability. Deploying process control throughout the solar fab line has become popular because cell manufacturers have realized that process control systems can help improve efficiency, yield, and thus, overall profitability. In addition, the evolving and increasingly advanced customer needs in the PV manufacturing market now require advanced optical inspection systems coupled with a comprehensive yield management strategy to drive to higher efficiencies through collecting and analyzing all defect data.

Article reprinted with permission from website



Solar Process Control

Take Control

An important part of the strategy to reduce the balance of system costs in PV manufacturing is the use of advanced optical defect inspection systems and surface metrology systems. These inspection systems are used in combination with a comprehensive process control methodology to help solar manufacturers identify root causes and raise the overall consistency and yield for production.

Article reprinted with permission from website



PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT: VLSI’s Solar Cell Certification Service

With 27 years of experience in supplying calibration standards for the semiconductor industry, VLSI Standards successfully entered the photovoltaic (PV) market approximately 3 years ago with solar reference cells for calibrating solar simulators and a solar reference cell certification service for manufacturers and users of solar simulators. VLSI’s Solar Cell Certification Service extends this service to production solar cells and provides ISO accredited traceable measurements of short circuit current (Isc), open circuit voltage (Voc), maximum power (Pmax), cell area, spectral response (or QE), fill factor, conversion efficiency, and temperature dependence. This enables solar cell manufacturers to verify and confirm the targeted efficiency levels and other performance metrics for their production line processes which, in turn, guarantee these values to their end customers. The photovoltaics industry has its own unique calibration standards needs, especially regarding measuring all-important solar-cell and module conversion efficiencies. By properly and consistently monitoring and calibrating the solar simulators used to determine those efficiencies, the quality and credibility of the measurements can be drastically improved, which has enhanced revenue and performance-reliability ramifications all the way up the PV system validation value chain.

For more information on VLSI Standards Solar Cell Certification Service, please see


Stay Updated

Subscribe to stay in the know - We'll send periodic email updates.

Sign Up Now