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In-line detection, cleaning and repair of photovoltaic thin films

Most thin film coatings for industry are produced at high speed using roll-to-roll techniques. These systems require specialist high speed and high resolution equipment to detect and correct defects in production.

ALD provides a promising technology for thin film barrier layers, in applications as diverse as photovoltaics to food packaging. As part of the NanoMend project, IBS worked with an international group of partners who came together to develop pioneering technologies for in-line detection, cleaning and repair of micro and nano scale defects on such thin barrier films for packaging applications.

Working with the University of Huddersfield and the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI UK),  IBS took a focus on the implementation of wavelength scanning interferometry for in-process measurement of barrier film defects. Here the capability for fast, in-line areal measurement of defects over the full width of a 30cm web has been achieved.

Together with TNO and Swiss solar company, Flisom, IBS also demonstrated technologies developed for in-line localised cleaning of PV films.

Highlights of the project also included development of the world first traceable WVTR (water vapour transmission rate) facility with capability down to <5x10-5 g/m2/day by NPL UK and CPI. Fraunhofer- Gesellschaft, Munich also led studies for the analysis, cataloguing and benchmarking of defects.



Download further details on achievements of the NanoMend project: