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Sono-Tek Corporation, a US-based company specializing in ultrasonic coating systems for alternative energy product manufacturing, announces a new ultrasonic coating system designed for depositing TCO layers (such as PDOT, P3HT/PCBM and carbon nanotubes) in the manufacture of Organic Solar Cells. The ExactaCoat Inert is a fully inert glovebox integrated with Sono-Tek's PLC-controlled programmable XYZ ultrasonic coating system.
Organic photovoltaic devices (OPVs) offer a low cost solution to solar cell manufacturing, however, they have tight environmental constraints required to process TCO layers since they suffer from degradation at ambient conditions without protective coatings. Sono-Tek has developed the ExactaCoat Inert system to enable full control of coating deposition, grain structure, film thickness and surface morphology in an optimal R&D environment. The spray platform is fully integrated with a glovebox chamber capable of <1 ppm oxygen. The system is built for continuous operation with constant positive pressure environment using Nitrogen, Argon or Helium. Other glovebox system features include continuous oxygen monitoring of moisture and oxygen, HEPA filtration, automatic regeneration and push button antechamber fill.
In comparison to spin coating and screen printing, alternative methods of organic solar cell production, ultrasonic spray coating is a more efficient and controllable process, using less polymer material while achieving morphology characteristics that result in greater cell performance. Uniform thin film ultrasonic coatings optimize mobility of p-n junction materials for improved power conversion efficiency.
Sono-Tek ultrasonic nozzles are known for producing durable, repeatable precision coatings at some of the largest solar cell manufacturing companies worldwide. Sono-Tek ultrasonic nozzles feature non-clogging, low maintenance performance. In organic solar cell processes, ultrasonic coatings of chlorobenzene or other solutions create smooth thin film textures with minimum absorption loss. They are also very well suited to carbon nanotube deposition, since the vibration of the ultrasonic nozzle deagglomerates particles in suspension during coating. This uniform dispersion of CNTs is helpful for R&D processes seeking to replace brittle ITO layers in OSC production.
For more information on the ExactaCoat Inert system or other high performance coating technologies from Sono-Tek, go to www.Sono-Tek.com or email inquiries to:
Sono-Tek Corporation is a world leader in ultrasonic nozzle systems for applying precise, thin film coatings. Major industries utilizing our ultrasonic atomization systems include electronics - printed circuit board fluxing, medical nanocoatings such as implantable device coatings onto stents, catheters, balloons and pacemakers, fuel cell PEMs, thin film solar cells, phosphoric doping, anti reflection coatings, CIGs, float glass coatings, pan release coatings for commercial baking, spray drying, carbon nanotube suspensions, and any other spray application requiring uniform deposition with minimal overspray.
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