The 40,000-square-foot IEC building houses laboratory and office space to accommodate the Institute’s sophisticated thin-film solar cell and related engineering research programs. The Institute is the only thin-film photovoltaic laboratory in the world currently conducting basic research and development on a broad range of thin-film solar cell materials. The center is one of two U.S. Department of Energy Centers of Excellence for photovoltaic research and education.
The IEC laboratories have a vast array of equipment – often custom- designed and built – to further our studies fulfill requests on behalf of our partners. Below is a list of current equipment being used in the IEC labs. Our equipment list changes constantly, and new pieces are added depending on project requirements.
Thin Film Deposition
- Roll-to-Roll inline deposition system with four elemental effusion sources and in-situ flux control for depositing Cu(InGa)Se2 thin films onto a 15 cm wide moving web.
- Four-source elemental evaporator for depositing Cu(InGa)Se2 onto an array of nine 2.5×2.5 cm substrates.
- Four-source elemental evaporator for depositing Cu(InAl)Se2 onto an array of nine 2.5×2.5 cm substrates.
- Five-source elemental evaporator for depositing Cu(InGa)(Se,S)2 onto an array of nine 2.5×2.5 cm substrates.
- Vacuum evaporator configured for reacting Cu/In/Ga or other layers using Se and/or S evaporation sources.
- CVD reactor for reacting Cu/In/Ga or other layers with H2Se and/or H2S gas.
- Vapor transport deposition system for depositing II-VI compounds onto moving 10×10 cm substrates in inert or reactive ambient over wide range of pressure and temperature.
- Three-source evaporator for depositing II-VI compounds and alloys.
Hot wire chemical vapor deposition for depositing a-Si:H and polycrystalline Si thin films and devices.
- Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition for depositing a-Si:H and
a-SiGe:H films and devices.
- Six-chamber, in-line, plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition for depositing a-Si:H and a-SiGe:H films and devices.
- Reactor for RTP treatment of films and wafers.
- Reactor for treating films in halide vapors.
- Chemical bath (CBD) and chemical surface (CSD) deposition of uniform CdS, ZnS and Cd1-xZnxS alloy films from 10 to 100nm thick.
- Electron beam evaporator with three independently controlled sources for simultaneous or single element deposition of metals.
- Electron beam evaporator with rotatable 4-source turret for depositing most metals and anti-reflection coatings.
- Electron beam evaporator with rotatable 4-source turret and two sputtering sources.
- Three target RF/DC sputtering system for deposition of Mo, ZnO, and ITO.
- Four target DC magnetron sputtering system for deposition of Cu, In, Ga, Mo, and other metals.
- Kurt Lesker six target RF/DC sputtering system with load lock chamber.
Small sputter coater for deposition of ultra-thin metal layers.
- Crest Ultrasonic substrate cleaning and drying facility.
- Assorted tube furnaces and drying ovens for heat treatment and reaction in air, argon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen-argon.
- Full positive photolithography capability including spin coater, Suss Mask Aligner, and well established etching procedures.
- Circulating de-ionized water facility with 11 stations and one Barnstead NanoPure water station.
- Amray 1810T Digital Scanning Electron Microscope (15X to 100,000X) with Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) and Electron Back-Scatter Imaging capabilities.
- Perkin-Elmer Lambda-750 UV-visible-IR Spectrophotometer fitted with integrating sphere.
- Philips/Norelco Scanning Wide Angle X-ray Diffractometer with diffracted beam monochromation (CuKa) and digital control/acquisition.
- Philips Scanning Wide Angle X-ray Diffractometer with diffracted beam monochromation (CuKa, CrKa, CoKa), variable slits and digital control/acquisition.
- Rigaku D/Max Scanning X-ray Diffractometer with symmetric theta-2 theta and asymmetric glancing incidence geometries, variable slits, hot stage (to 450°C), and computer control/acquisition.
- Physical Electronics XPS system with load-lock sample preparation chamber and differentially pumped Ar ion gun for depth profiling.
Digital Instruments Dimension 3100 Scanning Probe Microscope with capabilities including tunneling, electrostatic force, and magnetic force microscopy.
- PAR computer controlled Potentiostat-Galvanostat.
- Olympus Optical Microscope with reflected, transmitted, and polarized illumination. Accessories include Nomarski optics and dual axis stage with verniers.
- Woollam Variable Angle Spectroscopic Ellipsometer.
- Dektak surface profilometer.
- ThermoScientific DXR Raman microscope.
- ThermoScientific Nicolet 6700 FTIR.
- Light and dark conductivity as a function of illumination intensity and temperature.
- Hall effect measurement system.
- Sinton lifetime testing facility.
- Current-voltage testing as a function of illumination intensity, spectral content, and temperature.
- Two Oriel Xenon solar simulators (AM1.5 global spectra).
- Spectral response with light and voltage bias capabilities.
- HP4274 LCR meter for capacitance measurements as a function of illumination intensity and temperature.
- Laser scanning facility-optical beam induced current.
- Four-pod accelerated stress exposure facility, allowing up to 16 samples to be independently monitored and maintained under different states of controlled atmosphere, illumination, electrical bias and temperature.
- Two-chamber accelerated stress exposure facility for up to 2ft x 2ft illuminated area in controlled temperature and humidity ambient. Other
US Laser two-wavelength (1064nm, 532nm) laser scriber.
- Asymtek Mechanical scriber and High resolution ink jet printer.
- Sheet glass cutting facility.
- Metallurgical polishing facility.