SVConnections January 2011

January 2011
Welcome to the January 2011 issue of SVConnections.  This year's newsletter features the same informative articles spotlighting the latest in vacuum coating technology and related fields, and special messages from our advertisers - but in a new format.  We hope you find it pleasant to view and easy to use.

We welcome your feedback and encourage you to share articles related to vacuum coating technology of interest to our readership.  Contact us at

Vibrating Nanorods Measure Thin Films for Microcircuits

By Bill Steele, Cornell University: "A key step in many nanofabrication processes is to create thin films, sometimes only one molecule thick, by a method known as atomic layer deposition. Researchers at Cornell and Tel Aviv University have developed a new tool for nanofabricators to test the physical properties of such films.

Cornell University

Ultrathin films are increasingly important in constructing microcircuits. Their physical characteristics often determine their electronic behavior as well as their resistance to wear.

The researchers have shown that tiny resonant cantilevers -- silicon rods anchored at one end, like a tiny diving board -- can determine the density of a film and its Young's modulus, a measure of resistance to bending. The method offers several advantages over other methods of measuring these characteristics of thin films, the researchers said, and can be used by any researchers with access to nanofabrication capabilities comparable to those at the Cornell Nanoscale Facility."

Click on the link to read the entire article:
Cornell University:
Image: Rob Ilic/Craighead Group
Solar Design Triumphs through Thick and Thin

By Marie Freebody, "The quest for high power-conversion efficiency in most thin-film solar cells has often been hindered by the "thick and thin" challenge, in which a cell must be thick enough to collect a sufficient amount of light, yet thin enough to extract current. Now a novel solar cell devised by physicists at Boston College in Chestnut Hill and inspired by the coaxial cable resolves this dilemma by being both optically thick and electrically thin.

'The challenge has to do with the desire to make a highly Photonics.comoptically absorbing cell that is simultaneously highly efficient at extracting electric charge as current," said one of the creators, Michael Naughton, a professor of physics at the college. "In simple terms, a thick cell achieves the former, while a thin cell, the latter. Our nanocoax design achieves both, which has intrinsic advantages in terms of cost, so long as good efficiency can be achieved.'

The so-called nanocoax solar cell boasts greater efficiency than any previously designed nanotech thin-film (noncrystalline) solar cell. As reported in the July 2010 issue of Physica Status Solidi, the nanocoax cells, made with amorphous silicon, yield power-conversion efficiency in excess of 8 percent, and similar cells yielded efficiencies of more than 9.6 percent."

Click on the link to read the entire article:
 Image: Boston College

Collector Coatings Evolve from Black Paint to Selective Surfaces

By Stefan Braendle, Solar Industry: "The 2009 Solar Study from Switzerland-based Bank Sarasin predicts a global growth rate of solar thermal of 15% to 20% annually to an eventual installed capacity of 340 GW by 2020... 


New advances in solar absorber technology have enabled solar thermal technology to realize greater levels of system efficiency and dura­bility at lower costs... Most solar thermal systems that utilize flat-plate collectors are built around either a sheet of absorbing material or a series of absorber fins encased in a frame designed to with­stand the elements. Tubing is affixed to the back side of this absorber, where the heat from the sun is transferred to fluid traveling through the tube.  


Modern solar thermal absorbers have witnessed two significant tech­nology evolutions that led to signifi­cant efficiency and durability gains. We are on the cusp of a third tech­nology evolution that will drive the continued expansion and maturation of the industry."

Click on the link to read the entire article:
Solar Industry:
Image: Alanod Solar
Carbon Nanotube Forest Covers NIST's Ultra-Dark Detector

"Harnessing darkness for practical use, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have developed a laser power detector coated with the world's darkest material - a forest of carbon nanotubes that reflects almost no light across the visible and part of the infrared spectrum."


False Color"The coating absorbs laser light and converts it to heat, which is registered in pyroelectric material (lithium tantalate in this case). The rise in temperature generates a current, which is measured to determine the power of the laser. The blacker the coating, the more efficiently it absorbs light instead of reflecting it, and the more accurate the measurements."


"The new NIST detector uniformly reflects less than 0.1 percent of light at wavelengths from deep violet at 400 nanometers (nm) to near infrared at 4 micrometers (μm) and less than 1 percent of light in the infrared spectrum. The results are similar to those reported by an earlier Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute team and in a 2009 paper by a Japanese group. The NIST team grew the carbon nanotubes directly on to the pyroelectric material rather than silicon used by earlier teams. This eliminated a step to incorporate a layer to indirectly convert incident laser light to a readable electrical signal."


Click on the links for more information:
NIST News Release:
Additional Information In Materials Today:
Image: Aric Sanders/NIST
Boeing's Spectrolab is producing 39.2% Efficient Concentrator PV (CPV) Cells in January 2011

"The Boeing Company announced that Spectrolab, a wholly owned subsidiary, has started mass production of its newest terrestrial solar cell, the C3MJ+ has an average conversion efficiency of 39.2 %. The C3MJ+ is the industry's highest-efficiency commercial cell."

"Russ Jones, Spectrolab director of CPV Business BoeingDevelopment said, 'Last year we set a new world record for efficiency with a test cell that peaked at 41.6 %. We now have entered production with essentially this same technology and plan to deliver the first of these 39.2 percent efficiency cells in January.'

"Spectrolab has mass produced a new series of solar cells with increased energy-conversion efficiency each year since 2007. The current C3MJ series introduced in mid-2009 has sold more than 2 million cells worldwide.  'Given the new cells' close similarity to our existing production cells, we believe that our current C3MJ customers will be able to easily upgrade for more efficiency,' Jones added. Utility companies are starting to take terrestrial concentrator arrays seriously for utility based power systems."

Click on the link to read the entire press release:
Spectrolab Website:  
Image: Boeing
Global PV Market Expected to Reach 19 GW in 2011

"The global PV market is predicted to see double-digit growth again in 2011, growing to 19 GW, according to new research from IMS Research. Although the market in Germany - the world's largest - is still predicted to decline next year, IMS Research has identified dozens of new and existing markets that will help drive demand and counteract this fall.

The company relPhotovoltaic Power Plant Alamosa, COeased new forecasts following its latest quarterly survey of cell, modu le and inverter suppliers, as well as major system."

'Despite the current high concentration of demand in a handful of countries, the PV market appears to be diversifying, IMS Research says. "We've identified 18 markets that will each install at least 100 MW next year, up from just eight markets in 2009," Ash Sharma, PV research director at IMS Research says. "This is hugely encouraging to the future health of the PV industry; it means it will eventually become much less dependent upon just one or two countries and less susceptible to huge swings in demand caused by changes to incentive schemes."'

"The Americas' and Asia's market shares are forecast to climb over the next five years, and these regions will become major drivers to the industry.  Looking beyond 2011, IMS Research predicts installation growth for at least the next four years, with more than 100 GW of new PV capacity being added."

Click the link to read the entire press release:
IMS Research Dedicated PC Press Releases:
Image: NREL
 Solar Power International Breaks Exhibitor Records

"Solar Power International 2010, the largest business-to-business solar energy conference and expo in North America, broke previous records for exhibitors and exhibit space for the sixth consecutive year.  1,122 companies from across the entire solar value chain exhibited in more than 1 million square feet. Solar Power International was attended by 23,300 solar industry professionals, utility executives, investors and policy makers.  The show's global presence also grew this year, with 32 percent of the exhibits featuring an international company and industry professionals attending from 111 countries. Solar power continues to draw mainstream consumer attention as well, with more than 2,500 people visiting the exhibit floor and attending sessions for free at the featured Public Night."

"Opening session keynoters Julia Hamm, President and CEO of the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA), and Rhone Resch, President and CEO of Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA) foresee sustained solar growth despite a largely stagnant economy."


"Based on first half 2010 numbers, the solar industry's installed capacity will more than double this year and see record gains in the photovoltaic, solar power plant, solar heating and cooling, solar water heating and solar pool heating sectors.  U.S. solar manufacturing is also expanding."


Click on the link to read the entire Press Release:
Solar Power International 10 Press Release:
Greentech Media:

China Rapidly Expanding Solar PV Manufacturing Capacity

By Melody Voith, Chemical and Engineering News: 'Solar-cell and finished module manufacturing capacity expansion in 2010 will be led by China, according to market research firm iSuppli. Of the world's top 10 firms, ranked according to added capacity, China-based LDK Solar will have grown the most by year's end, with a total of 1.4 GW worth of module and cell manufacturing. LDK is focusing on module fabrication, devoting only 120 MW of added capacity to cell manufacturing. Six other Chinese firms are on the top 10 list: Suntech Power, JA Solar, Yingli Green Energy, Tianwei New Energy, Trina Solar Energy, and Jinko Solar. Norway's REC, Canadian Solar, and Taiwan's Motech also made the list. In all, China will claim 72% of the total 9.0-GW increase by the top 10. European countries lead in solar installations, says Greg Sheppard, chief research officer at iSuppli.  However, he adds, "with Chinese cell and module manufacturers now engaged in a race to expand manufacturing, the country is certain to maintain and expand its dominant position."'

Click on the link to read the entire article:
Chemical and Engineering News:    
USDOE Will Hold the ARPA-E Energy Summit
February 28 - March 2011

"The 2011 ARPA-E Energy Innovation Summit will convene the key players in the nation's energy innovation community to spur the networks that will bring about the next revolution in clean energy technologies.  Participants will include the nation's leading individuals and organizations in energy innovation, including: venture capital investors, technology entrepreneurs, large and small corporations with an interest in clean energy technologies, policy makers from the Administration and Congress, and government officials from the Department of Energy and ARPA-E.  The summit objectives are to:

  • Showcase the next generation of clean energy technologies
  • Introduce ARPA-E's leadership, program areas, and initial breakthrough technology projects
  • Connect with technologists, entrepreneurs and investors
  • Provide insights that will enable entrepreneurs to commercialize breakthrough technologies

Click on the link for more information:  
Energy Storage Crucial Step for Renewable Electricity

"U.S. policymakers must focus more closely on developing new energy storage technologies as they consider a national renewable electricity standard, according to one of the principal recommendations in a newly released report, Integrating Renewable Electricity on the Grid, by the American Physical Society's Panel on Public Affairs (POPA)."

"The report notes that as renewable generation grows it will ultimately overwhelm the ability of conventional resources to compensate renewable variability, and require the capture of electricity generated by wind, solar and other renewables for later use. Transmission level energy storage options include pumped hydroelectric, compressed air electric storage, and flywheels. Distribution level options include: conventional batteries, electrochemical flow batteries, and superconducting magnetic energy storage (SMES). Batteries also might be integrated with individual or small clusters of wind turbines and solar panels in generation farms to mitigate fluctuations and power quality issues."

Energy Storage

Click on the link to read the entire article:! /display/


America's Largest PV Power Plant is Now Live

By Renewable Energy World Network Editors: "Boulder City, Nevada, USA -- Last week the largest PV power plant in the U.S. quietly went online in Boulder City, Nevada, about 40 miles southeast of Las Vegas. Sempra Generation's 48-MW Copper Mountain Solar Facility began construction in January 2010 and on Dec 1st, the company announced that it had finished the project and the facility was now generating electricity.

At its peak, Sempra said, more than 350 construction workers were installing the 775,000 First Solar panels that power the plant on the 380-acre site.

The power from Copper Mountain Solar and Sempra Generation's adjacent 10-MW El Dorado Solar plant has been sold to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) under separate 20-year contracts.  California utilities are required to procure 20 percent of their energy supply from alternative sources by the end of 2010, increasing to 33 percent by 2020. profiled the El Dorado plant in 2008.  Play the video below to see a tour of it.  The completion of the project eclipsed the 20-MW DeSoto PV plant in Arcadia Florida, which was the previous record holder for the largest U.S. solar power plant."

Click on the link to read the entire article:

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In This Issue
Vibrating Nanorods Measure Thin Films
Solar Design Triumphs
Collector Coatings Evolve
Carbon Nanotubes in Ultra-Dark Detector
Boeing's Spectrolab Producing Efficient CPV Cells
PV Market to Reach 19 GW in 2011
Solar Power International Breaks Record
China Expanding PV Manufacturing
ARPA-E Energy Summit
Energy Storage for Renewable Energy
America's Largest PV Power Plant
Comdel's Arc Detect Fast Shutdown Minimizes Arc Damage
Comdel's new Arc Detect Fast Shutdown works within the matching network and power supply, providing shutdown of the RF to minimize arc damage.  Learn More


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


Choose Evatec's MSP sputter tool for high volume production in 3D technology and enjoy excellent thin film repeatabilities, a proven tool concept and a reliable partner.  Contact Evatec's dedicated USA office for all your local sales and service requirements in thin film technology.

(603) 669-9656

Vacuum Research
Soft Start Pumps

Pump Pressure Control

Rotary Vane Pumps from 3.5 to 28 cfm with programmable soft start and pressure control. Determine vacuum level for your process and adjust the pressure controller accordingly.  Pump will run at max speed until desired pressure is reached then slow to maintain vacuum selected.

Phone: 800/426-9340


MEWASA - Swiss Quality
Customer Specific Solutions, Prototypes and Special
Designed Bellows, Bellow Repairs / OEM Replacements

Please Contact: Ira Miller,
MEWASA North America
Tel: 520-797-6980

Visit Us at SVC TechCon 2011
Booth #504


Filmetrics Thin-Film Thickness Measurement Systems

-Measure thickness from 1nm to 1mm

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-Used in thousands of applications worldwide
We offer the industry's only complete line of thin-film measurement instruments. With our 24-hour online

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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 GP-100 purifier has been designed as a point of use lightweight, compact, low-cost inert gas purification system. This unit operates off of standard cylinder gas to purify inert gases to ultra-high purity and avoids the problem of cylinder walls outgassing during storage. The GP-100 has been shown to purify 99.8% argon gas to 99.9991% purity. Applications for the unit include purification of gases for sputtering modules, crystal growth furnaces, and glove boxes. 
Learn More



UC Components

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

UC Components Inc.


Veeco provides RF Linear Ion Sources for uniform processing of medium and large scale substrates featuring a broad power range and patented four-grid beam collimation technology to meet your application needs with proven reliability and performance.

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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.

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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


Nanovea manufactures Profilometers, Mechanical Testers & Tribometers to combine the most advanced testing capabilities in the industry. And unlike other manufacturers, Nanovea also provides Laboratory Services.

Learn More


Phone: 949-461-9292


Leak Detector with Wireless Remote
The rugged and easy to use
SmartTestTM helium leak detector is available with a wireless remote.  It detects leaks down to
5 x 10-12 mbar l/s.  Learn More.

Pfeiffer Vacuum, Inc

Phone: 603-578-6500
Toll Free: 800-248-8254

BellowsTech Lifter Bellows are designed with custom face seals for vacuum equipment.  For example, in order to move the silicon wafers, bellows produce a leak tight mechanism for transport. 
Learn more.

BellowsTech, LLC

Phone: 386-615-7530

Fax: 386-615-7973



The Hiden HPR-30 is a residual gas analyser configured for analysis of gases and vapours in vacuum processes and for vacuum diagnostics. Learn more.

E-mail address:
Phone: +44 [0] 1925 445225 (UK)

or [1] 734 542 6666 (USA)


VAT manufactures high quality vacuum valves for a variety of applications.  Products include: gate, angle, fast-closing, transfer, pendulum, throttle, pressure control, all-metal and customized valves. Learn more.


Contact Us:

Phone: 781-935-1446

or 800-935-1446


Ulvac U22H1 Cryo
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ULVAC's reliable large cryogenic pumps deliver high refrigeration power, maximum pumping speed and capacity at 20", 22" and 30". Specialty versions are available including low vibration and corrosion proof.
Learn More.

ULVAC Technologies, Inc.
Visit Us Online

Tel: 1-978-686-7550

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