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Kurt J Lesker Company Enables...

Organics Research for Photovoltaic Applications

Organic Photovoltaics (OPVs) is a key research area, providing potential for low cost, flexible and environmentally friendly energy generation. In their simplest form OPVs consist of a series of organic layers, sometimes mixed together, sandwiched between a conductive transparent electrode and a top metal electrode. The resulting device is then used to turn solar energy into electrical energy.

Despite their relative simplicity, fabrication requires highly accurate control of the deposition parameters and thickness (with layers as thin as just a few nanometres), and often individual layers must be patterned to produce appropriate charge transport pathways. In addition, many organic materials are sensitive to atmospheric handling, requiring inert environment handling and single-pumpdown vacuum processing.

Here at the Kurt J Lesker Company we have developed our own bespoke deposition sources and control systems to enable excellent control of the small molecule material plume needed for researchers to build efficient ultra-thin and ultra-light single cell or multi-junction solar cell architectures.

A KJLC glove-box integrated SPECTROS OPV tool

How KJLC is enabling Organic Photovoltaics

For over 20 years Kurt J Lesker has been shipping tools that are capable of depositing organic materials. With the burgeoning field of organic photovoltaics (OPV) that took place since that point Kurt J Lesker adapted tools that were originally designed to make OLED devices to enable the creation of efficient OPV solar cells. Working with world-leading OPV pioneers such as TU Dresden in Germany and then Heliatek amongst others we have established baseline processes and performance that meets the requirements of the most demanding OPV researcher.

As a result of our experience and knowledge our SPECTROS™ range of PVD tools have been refined over the years for the accurate and repeatable deposition of the hole transport layer, active layer and cathode required in either planar or bulk heterojunction cell architecture whether it be for a fully vacuum-processed or a solution-processed solar cell, where Kurt J Lesker can supply the tools needed such as a spin-coater in a glovebox.

Precise rate control of OPV material enabled by KJLC's eKLipse control system

TECHNOLOGY

The Kurt J. Lesker SPECTROS system range is ideally suited to the production of R&D scale OPV devices. The flexibility in substrate size and number and type of sources, accurate deposition control, full recipe-driven processing, in-situ masking and our range of innovative optional accessories such as Dual Wedge Tool ensures we can build a system suitable for any OPV process from the most simple single layer metallisation process through to the most complex, multi-layer, multi-substrate solar cell.

At the heart of our tools is our unique Kurt J Lesker eKLipse™ software control platform that allows the user to accurately control the rate and thickness of each film. Designed 100% in-house the features of eKLipse are:

  • An easy to use graphical user interface for fast recipe building
  • An embedded real-time controller for ultimate reliability
  • Kurt J Lesker thermal evaporation PID hardware for optimum temperature and rate stability, essential especially for controlled co-deposition
  • Easy to export & import unlimited recipes for maximum flexibility
  • Multi-user access levels for security of your important research
  • Simultaneous data plotting for accurate experimental logging
  • Ability to customize counters for any component to establish precise maintenance scheduling
  • Remote support functionality for instant diagnosis by trained Kurt J Lesker technicians to help trouble-shooting
  • Ability to send emails and Twitter notifications of the system and process status keeping the researcher up to date on their research, wherever they are

KJLC gloveboxes enable protection of OPV devices with very low levels of H20 and O2

Our scientists and engineers have used our extensive in-house experience to develop solutions that overcome the challenges with putting down thin films of OPV material in vacuum. Some of our unique hardware features are:

  • Kurt J Lesker Low Temperature Evaporation (LTE) sources featuring a plug-in base for easy swap-out - ideal for low melting OPV compounds in the 50°C to 500°C range
  • Kurt J Lesker metal deposition sources for charge-transport materials such as Ag, Au, Al, etc.
  • Custom pumping protection & shielding to avoid build-up of OPV material and possible failure
  • Optimized process chamber geometries for best film uniformity (e.g. +/-4% across a 100mm x 100mm substrate)
  • Custom PID control loops for precise control of OPV precursors in the gas phase (rate control down to 0.01A/s)
  • Accurate thin film thickness control to enable perfect device architecture (to +/- 0.1nm)
  • Best in class hardware for ultimate reliability and serviceability
  • Customizable baseplates for easy upgrades such as the addition of extra deposition sources
  • Unique glovebox technology enabling <0.1ppm ensuring ultimate protection of OPV coatings

Kurt J Lesker understands that not all OPV research is conducted with vacuum evaporation and there are others solution-processed methods that require equipment such as spin coaters and solar simulators. Kurt J Lesker has and array of gloveboxes and accessories that can help your solar cell research. Check out Polymer & Solution Processed OPV for more details.

Learn more about KJLC's involvement with world class OPV research

TU Dresden Developing Semi-Transparent Solar Cells

Developing high efficiency, transparent solar cells, the most important step towards smart, solar power windows...

Read More

Potential New Fullerenes for OPV Cells Investigated at TU Dresden

C70 replaces C60 in OPV devices to improve power conversion over large spectral range in identical OPV devices...

Read More

TU Dresden Test Potential of Light Trapping OPV Devices

Patterned surfaces developed for flexible OPV devices to improve power conversion efficiency without changing structure...

Read More

The University of Warwick Test New Materials for High-Voltage OPV Devices

The University of Warwick test potential replacements for fullerenes in OPV devices, resulting in a higher voltage devices...

Read More

Unconventional Materials Used in OPVs at The University of Warwick

The potential of new, unconventional electron donor and acceptors in creating comparable OPV devices...

Read More

Transparent Layers in OPV Devices Tested at The University of Warwick

The effect of an optical spacing layer demonstrated in creating tandem OPV devices to improve efficiency...

Read More

Measuring X-Ray Scattering in Real Time with Oxford University & Diamond Light Source

MINERVA allows real-time analysis of OPV devices during development or their response to environmental conditions...

Read More

Recyclable OPV Devices Developed at Georgia Tech

Renewable, flexible and efficient OPVs produced using cellulose nanocrystal substrates ...

Read More

OPV Supported Technologies

Our scientists and engineers have used our extensive in-house experience to develop solutions that overcome the challenges with putting down thin films of OPV material in vacuum. From customizable base plates for easy upgrades and optimised process geometries for best film uniformities (e.g +/- 1.5% across a 200mm x 200mm substrate). Here are just some of the other unique hardware features we can offer.

LTE Sources

Kurt J Lesker Low Temperature Evaporation (LTE) sources featuring a plug-in base for easy swap out, ideal for low temperature evaporating OPV material in the 50°C to 600°C range.

Combined with our custom PID control loops for precise control of OPV material evaporation (rate control down to 0.01A/s) the Kurt J Lesker LTE is an ideal solution for the deposition of Organic material.

HydraVap

Kurt J Lesker HydraVap sources featuring a water-cooled shroud are ideal for low temperature evaporating OPV material in the 50°C to 400°C range. With a rapid cool down time to increase substrate throughput, and our custom PID control loops for precise control of OPV material evaporation (rate control down to 0.01A/s) the Kurt J Lesker HydraVap is an excellent solution for the deposition of Organic material.

Dual Wedge Tool

Kurt J Lesker Single and Combinatorial Dual Wedge tools turn a single substrate into many, allowing for multiple samples on one substrate, the unique feature cuts weeks of research time in to a day.

Due to the wedge tools in situ rotation design, uniformity is still maintained and can be combined with Kurt J Lesker Masking.

Substrate & Masking

The Kurt J Lesker Substrate and Masking system allows for multiple substrates and masks to be loaded within the deposition chamber. This eliminates the need for a costly load lock, which would need extra pumping, gauging, and additional transfer.

Glovebox

Unique glovebox technology enabling <0.1ppm O2 and H2O ensuring ultimate protection of OPV coatings. Kurt J Lesker understands that not all OPV research is conducted with vacuum evaporation and there are others methods such spin-coating. Kurt J Lesker has gloveboxes and equipment that can help your research.

WHY US

COME TALK TO US - we have an experienced team of scientists, engineers and designer dedicated to helping you solve your problems, however large or small. With a global reach we can help you and we look forward to helping you

We have simulated uniformities using state of the art simulation tools that we have optimized. Talk to us so we can help you design the best system for your application

Being world leaders in vacuum deposition systems and having thousands of PVD systems installed globally we have a wealth of information at our fingertips and invaluable experience that can help you

Our VacTran software facilitates the execution of laborious vacuum calculations, enabling rapid characterization and evaluation of vacuum system operational data and design alternatives

With PhD scientists and applications lab support we can help you optimise your process. Come visit us, play with our tools and see how we can help you

Ask us a question. We have repository of technical information - and if we don't know the answer straight away then we'll find out for you

OPV SYSTEM OFFERING

Kurt J Lesker can help. Choose from one of our standard system options below or talk to us more about a custom configuration for your process. We can provide the solutions. We have the experience and we look forward to hearing from you.

We have a range of systems that can accommodate square substrates from 100mm x 100mm up to 200mm x 200mm or standard wafers up to 8" OD. For small R&D substrates, we can provide a custom array sample holder that allows for the mounting of multiple substrates in a single process. Choose from the following or contact us for custom options.

NANO 36

Mini SPECTROS

SPECTROS 150

SPECTROS 200

CHOOSE
YOUR
SYSTEM

NANO 36 PVD 75 PVD 200 PVD 500
Substrate Size (maximum) 150mm diameter or 100mm x 100mm square 150mm diameter or 100mm x 100mm square 200mm diameter or 150mm x 150mm square 250mm diameter or 200mm x 200mm square
System Control eKLipse software control platform with PC-based HMI eKLipse software control platform with PC-based HMI eKLipse software control platform with PC-based HMI eKLipse software control platform with PC-based HMI
Thermal Heater Sources (max) 4 4 3 4
Low Temperature Evaporator 4 4 10 12
Electron Beam Sources N/A N/A 1 1
Deposition Material Pellet Feeder N/A N/A N/A 1
Substrate Heating RT to 350°C RT to 350°C RT to 350°C RT to 350°C
Substrate Cooling Yes neg 10 to 80°C N/A N/A
Single or Dual Wedge Tool N/A N/A 1 1
Chamber Cylindrical Chamber, 304S, 15.13" (384.302mm) ø ID x 16.25" (412.75mm) Overall Length (OAL) Box chamber. 304SS. 14" wide x 14" deep x 24" high (355mm x 355mm x 610mm) Box chamber. 304SS. 18" wide x 18" deep x 37" high (457mm x 457mm x 940mm) Box chamber. 304SS. 14" wide x 14" deep x 24" high (610mm x 610mm x 1016mm)
Chamber Doors Spring-loaded, pendulum style, full-access, aluminum front door 304SS sliding front door & Aluminium hinged rear door 304SS sliding front door & Aluminium hinged rear door 304SS sliding front door & Aluminium hinged rear door - optional sliding rear door
Load Lock N/A N/A 1 1
Glovebox Two or four port glovebox Two or four port glovebox Two or four port glovebox Two or four port glovebox
Process Chamber Pump 300 l/s Turbo 800 l/s Turbo 800 l/s Turbo or 1500 l/s Cryo 800 l/s Turbo or 1500 l/s Cryo
Backing Pump 10 m3/h Scroll 10 m3/h Scroll 10 m3/h Scroll 35 m3/h Scroll
Process Chamber Base Pressure Configuration Dependant 1.5E-7 Torr 3.8E-7 Torr 5.0E-7 Torr
Glovebox Purity Level <0.1ppm <0.1ppm <0.1ppm <0.1ppm

Would You Like More Information?

Do you have any questions? Click below to get in contact with one of our many experienced team members.

CONTACT US TODAY
Contact Us - Organics Research for Photovoltaic Applications