Newsletter September SVConnections

In This Issue
*PVD Coating Captures Fingerprints
*Ecological Foil Cleaning for PV
*Highest U.S. LEED Rating
*Polycarbonate for Car Windows
*Nano-Coating Cools Chips
*Concentrating on Crystalline Si
*$92M to 43 Research Organizations
*Hematite Nanostructures
*The Millennium Technology Prize Winner
*EU Rules on Cadmium
*Worldwide PV Equipment and Market Data Collection
*Follow Up! Zephyr Sets New World Record


Mustang Vacuum Systems ORION Roll to Roll Deposition Systems
Substrate: Up to 10,000 FT length, 1000 MM wide flexible substrates configured with 1-10 deposition sources for precision and speed.  Deposition zones are individually configurable for PVD sputter, evaporation, co evaporation and sublimation enabling the next generation of thin film technologies.

Learn More
Contact us via E-Mail:

Solid Sealing Technology

Solid Sealing Technology specializes in the design and manufacture of highly engineered hermetic products using metalizing, brazing, glass-ceramic sealing, welding, and critical assembly.  SST manufactures industry standard and custom designed Vacuum Feedthroughs, Coaxial Connectors, Multi-Pin Connectors, Thermocouples, and Isolators for high temperature, UHV, and high pressure applications.


Ph: 518-874-3600
Fax: 518-874-3610


Sensitive, Stable and Intelligent RGA
The PrismaPlus™ mass spectrometer for qualitative and quantitative gas analysis and leak detection delivers high sensitivity, stability and intelligent operation. It provides precise and stable results to 300 amu with a detection limit of 1x10-14 mbar. The Quadera software is easy-to-operate and offers an easy-to-read platform for capturing and visualizing all measured data and parameter records.

For More Information
Click Here


Large Cryo Pumps
Specializing in high reliability and high refrigeration power, ULVAC Cryogenic Pumps deliver maximum pumping speed and capacity. ULVAC offers the premier high-powered solution to your demanding cryogenic pumping application. ULVAC has developed specialty cryo pumps; UHV, low-vibration, "flat-type", corrosion-proof, and a high-speed water vapor pump version.

Learn More
Reliable Handling in Large Surface Processes with Comdel's ESC - HV Power
Comdel's latest electrostatic chuck power supply can be configured to deliver from 6 to 10KV of power for reliable handling in large surface processes. Equipped with low stored energy and built-in current limiting, the ESC-HV will safeguard your process from surges and arcs. This user-friendly design contains parameter adjustments through variable controls, and is fully programmable to give the user maximum flexibility.  Learn more.


11 Kondelin Road
Gloucester, MA 01930
Tel: 978-282-0620 or 800-468-3144
Fax: 978-282-4980


Reduce your development time, improve your thin film process performance and cut your costs with Evatec's new "Optics Toolbox" - Seamless integration of thin film design software, layer end point strategy, optical monitoring, process recipe generation and execution with Khan system and process controller on BAK Evaporator and MSP Sputter platforms.

(603) 669-9656
Vacuum Research Corp Valves
Steel and Aluminum High Vacuum Poppet Valves

Aluminum, Stainless or Mild Steel Valves with flanges to match diffusion & Cryo pumps. Electroless nickel optional on steel valves. High conductance full opening port. Leak tested to better than 5 X 10-10 scc/sec. RoHS compliant and CE marked.
Phone: 800-426-9340


MEWASA has expanded the manufacturing possibilities of its bellows production, allowing the manufacture of bellows up to 1100mm in diameter. Combined with the modern PC-based control, our machine provides the flexibility to weld arbitrary bellows profiles, including oval shaped bellows with inside dimensions of 66.7 to 117.5mm.  MEWASA has widened its capabilities, offering greater design solutions to meet your engineering applications, whether it is larger dimensions or different profile shapes.

Contact: Ira Miller,
General Manager,
Mewasa North America
Tel: 520-797-6980


Filmetrics Thin-Film Thickness Measurement Systems

-Measure thickness from 1nm to 1mm

-Measure refractive index and other properties

-Used in thousands of applications worldwide

We offer the industry's only complete line of thin-film

measurement instruments. With our 24-hour online

"Hands On" support, expert help is only a minute away.


Dynavac's 1-meter Optical Coating System
is a cost-effective tool for producing high-quality precision optics. Its versatile design supports a wide range of process options including IAD, and the split-cylinder chamber provides easy maintenance while minimizing footprint. System interface and control is simple and supports download capability from most thin film design packages.
Telephone:  781-740-8600

RD Mathis

The R.D. Mathis Company specializes in the fabrication of high vacuum evaporation sources for thin film coating industries. We offer a comprehensive selection of tungsten, molybdenum and tantalum sources through our catalog and offer custom fabrication to meet your specific coating needs. Our "LV Series" Low Voltage, High Current Power Supplies and "GP 100" Inert Gas Purifier compliment your evaporation process.



UC Components

Speed pump-down and vacuum performance with RediVac™ Vented Screws and Vacuum Baked O-Rings from

UC Components Inc.


Veeco's new SOLUS™ DC Ion Source Controller features a state-of-the-art precision control system design providing reliable and stable power for ion source operation in all types of processes.  Integrated power modules and gas flow control with ratio capabilities allow for optimal ion source control and performance in the most demanding process environments.

To Learn More Visit:


SVC 2011 TechCon in Chicago, IL

Chicago Hyatt on the Riverwalk

Join the Society of Vacuum Coaters
April 16-21, 2011
for its 54th Annual TechCon
at the beautiful
Hyatt Regency Chicago on the
River Walk

Call for Papers
and Exhibit Prospectus
is Now Available
in Print and On-Line

Submit Your Abstract Today!
Abstract Submission Deadline October 1, 2011

Reserve a Booth On-Line

Review the TechCon Preliminary Tutorial Roster

Become a TechCon Sponsor
SVC On-Location Education Program

On-Location Education in China

Join SVC in Beijing, China October 18-19, 2010
for this English language presentation of the SVC Tutorial Course
"Vacuum Systems, Materials and Operation"
Instructor: John O'Hanlon, University of Arizona

Click here to learn more

PSE 2010

SVC Tutorial Course offered at PSE 2010
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany

Sept 16, 2010

"The Practice of Reactive Sputtering"
Instructor: Allan Matthews, University of Sheffield, UK

Click here to learn more
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As the world's marketplace continues to battle between an optimistic future and the struggle of today's economic realities, there are still endless examples of how research blossoms into industry-scale technology.  SVConnections provides readers with stories of these successes related to vacuum coating; along with promising developments in research, refinements and improvements in established technologies, companies leading the industry with state-of-the-art products and processes, the people who make it all happen, and where the money is. After you read this issue of SVConnections, share the news and forward it to a friend!  Use the link at the end of the page.
PVD Coating Captures Fingerprints on Difficult Surfaces

Pennsylvania State University professors, Robert Shaler and Ahklesh Lakhtakia, have developed a PVD coating proceFingerprints on Difficult Surfacesss that can reveal hard-to-develop fingerprints on nonporous surfaces. They can accomplish this without altering the chemistry of the print.  Current fingerprint analysis utilizes the mixture of skin secretions which make up fingerprints. Chemicals are applied which react with the fingerprints forming a visible or fluorescent image.  This method fails as fingerprints age and dry. The PVD coating process uses the geometry of the fingerprints. The ridges and valleys in the fingerprint show up on the new surface and analysts can easily read them using optical devices.

Researchers tested two materials for coating, magnesium fluoride and chalcogenide glass.  The coating material is heated in a vacuum as the artifact is rotated quickly to allow a very even deposition, about one micron thick.

Robert Shaler is Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Director of Penn State's forensic sciences program.  Ahklesh Lakhtakia is Professor of Engineering Science and Mechanics.

Learn More at the Pennsylvania State University Link:

Cell Assembly: Low Cost, Continuous and Ecological Foil Cleaning Process for Photovoltaics
This article is from Photovoltaics World

"Atmospheric plasma cleaning protocols are gaining early adoption within thin film PV foil cleaning processes, with some of the key drivers being its use of a continuous, roll-to-roll (R2R) process, significantly lower production floor footprint, and lower capital cost. The highly efficient method for removing organic surface contaminations from PV foils prevents generation of chemical waste effluents found with wet-cleaning processes. Rory A. Wolf, Enercon Industries Corporation, examines plasma cleaning systems and details etching, cleaning and bonding trial data confirming system efficacies.
Foil Cleaning Process
Metal foils are in widespread use in photovoltaic (PV) applications, and particularly with copper indium gallium selenide (CIGS) cells in the form of polycrystalline thin films. CIGS PV manufacturers require specific metal foil alloy formulations and dimensions, which are not uncommon formulations for metal foil providers. With the use of foil-based cells, copper and other materials replace silicon as the semiconductors. Key advantages of solar cells constructed with flexible foils include their ability to withstand high temperatures during further processing; they experience low impact from evaporation; they are highly etchable; and they can contain side electrodes that act as contacts for powering auxiliary units. However, moisture transport, adhesion, and corrosion protection of PV module packaging materials rely in part on clean foil surfaces for improving adhesion to glass and polymer (encapsulant, backsheet) component surfaces to prevent ingress and maximize efficiency. Atmospheric plasma pre-cleaning of foils in continuous roll-to-roll processes has been found to be a low cost, dry, and highly efficient method for removing organic surface contaminations from PV foils without the generation of chemical waste effluents compared to wet-cleaning processes. This paper examines these systems and details etching, cleaning and bonding trial data confirming system efficacies."

Read the full article on

Image: from  Originally published in "Cell Assembly: Low Cost, Continuous and Ecological Foil Cleaning Process for Photovoltaics" August 2010.
Benedictine Monastery Received Highest U.S. LEED Rating

Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton, Wisconsin received the U.S.' highest level LEED Platinum rating for buildings with 63 out of 69 points. It is
built of almost 100% recycled material from the original monastery. The new monastery which includes a home and conference center features a geothermal heating and cooling system. Customized glass is used to control window glare, eliminating need for any window coverings. The 20kW solar panel design was incorporated into the roof design and currently provides 13% of the monastery's energy.  The building design allows for future upgrades which would make the building carbon neutral.  Contact the monastery for a visit.

Benedictine Monestary

Visit for more details  

Further details in Environmental Engineering News

Exatec* and ULVAC Announce Collaboration on Mass Production Systems of Polycarbonate for Car Windows

Exatec* (Wixom, Michigan), a wholly owned subsidiary of SABIC Innovative Plastics, is one of the world's leading suppliers of advanced polycarbonate glazing solutions for the transportation industry.  ULVAC (Kanagawa, Japan), a leader in mass-production vacuum technology, announced their collaboration with Exatec to "accelerate cost-effective, high-volume production of weatherable, scratch-resistant, plasma-coated Lexan* polycarbonate resin for vehicle windows."  ULVAC will utilize their vacuum equipment manufacturing expertise and incorporate Exatec's proprietary plasma coating technology to manufacture turnkey high volume production systems. This solution will enable automakers to meet more stringent vehicle CO2 emission restrictions by replacing heavier glass windows with lighter polycarbonate resin windows.  U.S. rules take effect in 2016 where vehicles must achieve an average of 35.5 miles per gallon. In Europe, 2015 CO2 emissions must drop to 0.46 lbs/mile, and 0.35 lbs/mile by 2020.  Greg Adams, vice president, Automotive, SABIC Innovative Plastics stated, "Over the past few years Exatec coatings and Lexan have been used for the glazing on many technology demonstration vehicles from innovative OEMs."

*Trademarks of SABIC Innovative Plastics IP BV.

Read more details in this ULVAC press release, July 21, 2010
Click here for more information on Exatec

TSMC Focuses on Solar CIGS Technology Instead of c-Si

Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC), leading global semiconductor foundry, increased its investment in solar energy.  They have made a strategic decision to focus on thin film Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) technology instead of mainstream crystalline silicon (c-Si) technology. CIGS technology has higher yields than Cadmium Tellurium (CdTe) and amorphous Silicon (a-Si). TSMC bought a 21% equity stake in CIGs photovoltaic module startup Stion (San Jose, CA) for $50 million. TSMC will license Stion's technology and conduct joint research with them.  Stion claims to have achieved >13% efficiency with plans to increase it to 15%. TSMC is building new CIGS fabrication facility in central Taiwan. TSMC paid $192 million last year for a 20% share in Motech Industries Inc. (Tainan, Taiwan). Motech is the largest solar cell manufacturer in Taiwan and one of top 10 global manufacturers based on output in 2008.
Further details of TSMC investment in EE Times
Emerging Blue Phase LEDs   

Researchers at University of Central Florida's College of Optics and Photonics have made advancements in Blue Phase LEDs.  They have taken polymer stabilized Blue Phase Liquid Crystals (BPLC) which operate at room temperature and made four improvements.  First, reduction in response time to sub-millisecond range which minimized motion image blur. Image blur is a problem when fast moving objects are shown on regular LCDs. Faster response also eliminates need for color filters for field-sequential color display, which triples the optical efficiency, reduces power consumption and lowers production costs while producing crisper images.  Second, the required alignment layer (typically polyimide or inorganic silicon dioxide) simplifies manufacturing process thereby reducing cost.  Third, the dark state of the BP LCD is optically isotropic, that is symmetrical with wide viewing angle.  Lastly, BP transmittance is insensitive to the cell gap width with in-plane electrodes depending on birefringence of LC composite.  This is desirable for large-panel LCD processing. 

 Blue Phase LEDs

Research continues to address remaining technical issues such as high (50 Vrms) operating voltage, low transmittance (~65%), and narrow mesogenic temperature range.

For further details read the full SPIE article on

Image: Courtesy of and Prof. Shin-Tson Wu, UCF, CREOL

Nano-Coating Cools Chips Four Times Faster

Researchers have found that ZnO nanoscale coatings increase the heat transfer rate of bare Al or Si substrates. The joint study, Nano-Coating Cools Chipsfunded by Army Research Laboratory, at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Oregon State University (OSU) report a 10X improvement in heat transfer for nanostructured surfaces over 'bare' aluminum substrate. Terry Hendricks, PNNL project leader, also reported a 4X improvement in critical heat flux for these nonstructured surfaces. The nanoscale coating method is called microreactor assisted nanomaterial deposition (MAND). ZnO is deposited on Al or Cu substrates. Researchers see potential applications in advanced power electronics, advanced high-power radar and advanced laser systems. 
Visit the Oregon State University Web Site for more details
You may read the full paper on the Oregon State Library Web Site.

Image: Courtesy of Oregon State University
Applied Materials Chooses to Concentrate on Crystalline Si for PV Equipment Business

In a bold move, Applied Materials has announced that they will stop selling its SunFab turn-key thin film plant for making amorphous silicon photovoltaics. Amorphous silicon photovoltaics generally have lower conversion efficiency compared to CdTe and CIGS cells. With a rapid development in CdTe photovoltaic manufacturing by especially, First Solar, Applied has seen a drop in the sales of their SunFab equipment. Applied Materials is shifting their emphasis to crystalline silicon (c-Si) and LED manufacturing. However, Applied will still provide tools and process improvements in the thin film equipment for both PVD and CVD. The LED market is poised for a boom with the increasing demand in solid state lighting. In restructuring, Applied Materials will shut its Germany R&D facility and move their R&D activities to Santa Clara, CA and a-Si to China.

Read more information on

$92 Million America Recovery and Reinvestment Act Funds Awarded to 43 Research Organizations

U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced 43 energy research projects that aim to dramatically improve how the U.S. uses and produces energy. Funded with $92 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act through the Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

Three strong categories were delineated : Grid based energy storage-GRIDS, Agile delivery of power-ADEPT and Building energy efficiency-BEET-IT.  Some of the projects include the development of new materials for batteries, electrodes, metacapacitors, thick film magnetics, thermoelectric and thermoelastic materials.
ARPA-E Image
Further information and the listing of the awardees can be found on the ARPA web site.

Image: Courtesy ARPA-E website.

Hematite Nanostructures Enhance Solar Water Splitting to Make Hydrogen 

A low cost method of making hydrogen fuel has evaded many researchers. Work from the team of Kevin Sivula, Florian LeFormal, Jeremie Brillet and Prof. Michael Graetzel, at Ecole Po
Hematite Nanostructureslytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland has shown that a 15% solar hydrogen solar conversion efficiency may be possible using solar photolysis. Studies on nanostructured hematite (alpha-Fe2O3) shows it as a promising material for water splitting  because it is stable, plentiful and has a band gap = 2.1eV making it a good solar absorber. An impressive 15% solar-to-hydrogen (STH) conversion efficiency is possible.
For further details read the full SPIE article on
Image: with permission from Kevin Sivula, EPFL, Switzerland

Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells Wins Prof. Michael Graetzel the Millennium Technology Prize

Millennium Prize LogoOn the 9th of June 2010 the Millennium Technology Prize was awarded to Professor Michael Graetzel, Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) for his solar cell work. The Millennium jury in Helsinki has awarded 800,000 Euros for his work on dye-sensitized solar cells. Prof. Graetzel and Brian O'Regan developed dye-sensitized solar cell in 1991. Cells in excess of 10% conversion efficiency have been shown. The cell is now on the European Union PV Roadmap for 2020. The professor at is among the ten most-cited scientists in the world. Developed by studying photosynthesis, this unique solar cell has only recently been commercialized. These dyed-sensitized solar cells cost less to produce than other conventional based cells. Also, Prof. Michael Graetzel has worked on improving lithium ion batteries by making them safer and more efficient and solar energy conversion and storage of hydrogen.
Learn more about the Michael Graetzel and the Millennium Technology Prize
Follow the Millennium Technology Prize on Facebook
Image: Courtesy of Technology Academy Finland

European Union Issues Ruling on Cadmium and First Solar's Production Expansion

The Environment Committee of the European Parliament voted on June 2, 2010 to exclude renewable energy technologies from the European Union (EU) law restricting hazardous substances in electronic equipment. This is the one step towards assuring that EU market remains open to PV cells using cadmium and other restricted materials.
The EU's 2002 directive restricting the use of hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment (ROHS) does not currently cover solar cells. ROHS covers household appliances, consumer electronics and other IT equipment. In December 2009, Jill Evans, a member of the European Parliament coordinating work on the ROHS law, recommended extending the law to all electrical and electronic equipment, which would include PV cells. The June 2nd committee decision is one step toward excluding PV cells. The full European Parliament and European Council will make the decision. This is one of several updates the 2002 directive being proposed. Several groups, including the European Photovoltaic Industry Association and American Chamber of Commerce to the EU, oppose extending the law to solar cells.
Based on the encouraging decision by the Environment Committee and with strong support from German regional and federal authorities, First Solar, Inc. announced a major new investment to double the production capacity of thin-film solar modules and creating several hundred new jobs in their Frankfurt an der Oder plant. The projected fourth quarter 2011 annual capacity will be around 472 megawatts (MW). First Solar, Inc. is one of the world's leading producers of PV modules with an expected annual production capacity in excess of 1.4 Gigawatts (GWS) in Germany, the United States and Malaysia in 2010. Three additional factories in France and Malaysia are being constructed.  When all factories are completed in Q1 2012, First Solar, Inc. will have more than 2.2 GW of capacity. 
In Print Reference: Solar Industry - July 2010, pgs 4,6Subscribe
Click here for more information at First Solar, Inc.

SEMI PV Group and Yole's 'Worldwide PV Equipment and Market Data Collection Program'

SEMI PV Group (Santa Clara, CA) working with Yole Developpement (Lyon, France) have started an industry program which collects global information on the growing PV equipment market, such as diffusion furnaces, PECVD for thin films, and sputtering for thin films. They are looking for industry participants. Data is collected and issued quarterly. Equipment market data and market analysis are available, some for a fee. The SEMI PV Group partnered with Intersolar for the Intersolar Europe event in Munich (June 9-11, 2010) and Intersolar North America exposition and conference (co-located with SEMICON West 2010, July 13-15, 2010). Yole Developpement is a market research and strategy consulting company involved in PV industry, MEMS, advanced packaging and compound semiconductor. 
Learn more about the program by visiting the PVGroup web site:

Sion Power's Lithium-Sulfur Batteries Power World Record Flight

July 29, 2010

Zephyr Over Mountains"TUCSON, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sion Power announced today that their proprietary lithium sulfur (Li-S) batteries played a critical role in the QinetiQ Zephyr smashing the world record for the longest duration unmanned flight. A result of an intensive joint development effort between Sion Power and QinetiQ, the Zephyr flight exceeded 336 hours (14 days) of continuous flight, significantly surpassing the previous official record of 30 hours 24 minutes set by Northrop Grumman's RQ-4A Global Hawk in March 2001. The Zephyr's world record flight was completed on July 23, 2010 at the US Army's Yuma Proving Grounds in Yuma, Arizona.
"This flight represents a major accomplishment for Sion's lithium sulfur technology, proving the viability of our high energy, rechargeable battery system"
The Zephyr, a solar/battery powered all electric UAV with a wing span of 70 feet (22.5 m) and a weight of just over 110 lbs. (50 kg), achieved this remarkable record using a combination of solar power during the day and Sion Power's Li-S batteries at night. After a ground launch, the Zephyr flew to altitudes of up to 70,000 feet, where the UAV encountered external temperatures as low as minus 75 degrees C."
Learn More about Scion Power.
Read More about the Zephyr at
Watch the Zephyr launch.

Image: QinetiQ LTD 2010
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