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The PECVD cluster deposition tool at PVcomB

For the deposition of amorphous (a-Si:H) and microcrystallline silicon (µc-Si:H) layers and silicon alloys (SiO, SiN, SiC) a cluster tool from Applied Materials (AKT1600) based on plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) operated at 13.56 MHz plasma-excitation frequency is used. The fully automated tool is equipped with three process chambers for a substrate size of up to 30 x 30 cm2. This allows for separation of the deposition of doped and intrinsic materials and processing of 6 – 8 tandem modules per day.

To support the PECVD process development in situ diagnostic tools are used [1]:

  • Optical emission spectroscopy (OES)
  • Mass spectrometry (residual gas analyzer, RGA)
  • Non-linear enhanced electron dynamics (NEED)

The data from recipes, processes, and in-situ diagnostics are stored in a data server and visualized together with measurement data (like solar cell I-V results) via the in-house designed PDVisA data base to facilitate easy data management and experiment evaluation as well as baseline control.

[1]  O. Gabriel, S. Kirner, M. Klick, B. Stannowski, R. Schlatmann, Plasma monitoring and PECVD process control in thin film silicon-based solar cell manufacturing, EPJ Photovoltaics, DOI: 10.1051/epjpv/2013028.


enlarged view


Fig. 1: PECVD cluster tool (AKT 1600) for silicon layer deposition at PVcomB.