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Sensing & Measurement

Metrology system for PV systems


Nanometrics Inc., a leading supplier of advanced process control metrology systems used primarily in the manufacturing of semiconductors, solar photovoltaics and high-brightness LEDs, recently announced the launch of its TSMTM integrated metrology system. The latest in Nanometrics' Trajectory product line, the TSM is designed to rapidly measure the thickness of various thin films in order to enable fast feedback and excursion prevention in the manufacture of all types of solar photovoltaic (PV) cells, and further expands Nanometrics' metrology system footprint into the segment of rough and textured PV film layers.

"Every solar PV cell manufacturing line has unique process-control challenges due to the engineered films that are deposited," says Tom Ryan, director of the materials characterization business unit at Nanometrics. "The TSM is optimized for film measurement on high-throughput processes, enabling control on textured crystalline silicon cells, complex multi-junction thin-film silicon cells and high-roughness CIGS and CdTe films."

Nanometrics has optimized the Trajectory product to provide robust and precise metrology on today's most complex thin film solar materials and can be incorporated to measure in atmospheric and vacuum systems. The rapid measurement time of the Trajectory systems can keep pace with any type of cell manufacturing line, enabling measurement of 100% of the products at numerous points throughout the flow, including junction, buffer, and absorber layers, antireflective coatings, and transparent conducting oxides (TCO).