Photovoltaics laboratory – SiCell Lab

ITER’s Photovoltaics Laboratory, known as SiCell Lab, is a state-of-the-art scientific and technological facility established with the aim of contributing to the development and consolidation of new techniques for producing photovoltaic cells based on crystalline silicon and new materials. The size and modular nature of the facility give it flexibility to adapt to new processes, such as research into new materials for use in photovoltaics.

The main lines of research are in the field of photovoltaic cells based on crystalline silicon. A new line of research has been established focusing on novel materials, in particular the perovskite class of minerals, which feature a particular crystal structure.

For the purpose of evaluating and analysing each stage of the construction process, the laboratory should be seen as providing a scaled version of a production line in which the devices will be fabricated and characterised on an industrial scale. The infrastructure has two workspaces, one for fabricating photovoltaic cells (the ISO 7 cleanroom) and another for characterising them.

Laboratory equipment:

Fabrication laboratory – Cleanroom

The ISO 7 (class 10,000) cleanroom has a total surface area of 65m² and is equipped as follows

  • Wet bench wafer cleaning and coating system. MEI, Achiever.
  • Ultrasonic cleaning bath. JP Selecta, Ultrasons-HD.
  • Type-II (E-POD) pure and type-I (Q-POD) ultrapure water purification and delivery system. Millipore, Milli-Q Integral 3.
  • Spincoating system. SPS, Polos HD 300.
  • Rapid thermal processing and annealing oven. LPT Thermprozess, TM 100BT.
  • Conveyor belt furnace. Torrey Hills Technologies LLC, Hengli.
  • Chamber furnace. Carbolite, CWF 11/13.
  • Drying oven. JP Selecta, Conterm 19.
  • Open-load plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition (PECVD) system. Advanced Vacuum, Vision 300 Mk II.
  • Screen and stencil deposition printing system. HMI, 485 screen printer.
  • Triple roll grinding mill. ESG65, Shanghai Espread.

Characterisation laboratory

This laboratory has a total surface area of 110m² and features the following equipment:

  • Spectral response measurement system. Bentham PVE 300.
  • Optical fluorimetry system. Gilden Photonics FluoroSENS M11.
  • Ellipsometer. JA Woollam ESM-300.
  • Microwave photoconductive decay (MWPCD) measurement system. Semilab WT-2000PVN.
  • Semiconductor characterisation system. Keithley 4200-SCS.
  • Pulsed laser kit with 2D scanning and opto-mechanical parts. Powerlase.

Auxiliary equipment

  • Air conditioning and filtering system
  • Air particle counting system.
  • Closed-circuit water supply with cooling system.
  • Deionised water recirculation system.
  • Corrosive fluids disposal system.
  • Compressed air line.
  • 2% silane/nitrogen blend gas line (gas cabinet).
  • 20% oxygen/tetrafluormethane blend gas line.
  • 99,9980% (industrial grade) nitrogen gas line.
  • 99,9995% (ultrapure) nitrogen gas line.
  • Nitrogen protoxide gas line.
  • Ammonia gas line.
  • Toxic gases abatement system.
  • High-temperature gases extraction system.
  • Toxic gases extraction system.