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Nanometrics Incorporated (NASDAQ: NANO), a leading supplier of advanced metrology systems, today announced that a major manufacturer of advanced thin film solar photovoltaic (PV) cells has selected and successfully installed the latest generation of the TSM™ (Trajectory Solar Monitor) metrology system for in-line process monitoring and control of CIGS (Copper, Indium, Gallium) films. Established and recognized as a valuable tool for rapid film thickness measurement, the TSM now includes photoluminescence scanning, further expanding its applications and market opportunities.
"Nanometrics' in-line photoluminescence monitoring tools enable PV manufacturers to improve cell efficiency and production yield by closely monitoring and controlling production processes in a real-time environment," said Nikos Jaeger, Director of the Materials Characterization Business Unit at Nanometrics. "The rapid, data rich process control and feedback provided by the TSM leads to lower costs, improved performance and increased competitiveness for our customers."
The new system incorporates an advanced capability to measure extremely rough films, making it a powerful tool to monitor and further improve yields. "By combining the analytical capabilities of the Nanometrics' NanoDiffract software analysis engine with the data generated by the TSM, our customers are now able to address the high roughness found in latest generation CIGS solar cells," said Lior Levin, Director of Engineering.
In the highly competitive thin film solar market, the need for higher cell efficiency and rapid feedback is vital and requires metrology tools that are both fast and accurate. Backed by Nanometrics' range of technology, applications experience and worldwide support, the TSM product family is aligned to support these requirements, as well as advancements in solar PV manufacturing within the emerging CIGS market. The systems were installed as a complement to TSM reflectometry tools currently used for in-line buffer, TCO, and CIGS thickness monitoring, providing a comprehensive, integrated process control solution for advanced PV cells.
About Nanometrics Incorporated
Nanometrics is a leading provider of advanced, high-performance process control metrology systems used primarily in the fabrication of semiconductors, high-brightness LEDs, data storage devices and solar photovoltaics. Nanometrics’ automated and integrated metrology systems measure critical dimensions, device structures, overlay registration, topography and various thin film properties, including film thickness as well as optical, electrical and material properties. The company’s process control solutions are deployed throughout the fabrication process, from front-end-of-line substrate manufacturing, to high-volume production of semiconductors and other devices, to advanced wafer-scale packaging applications. Nanometrics’ systems enable device manufacturers to improve yields, increase productivity and lower their manufacturing costs. The company maintains its headquarters in Milpitas, California, with sales and service offices worldwide. Nanometrics is traded on NASDAQ Select Global Market under the symbol NANO.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, statements regarding the capabilities of the company’s metrology products, market leadership and growth. Although Nanometrics believes that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, expectations regarding product capabilities, market share and growth are subject to a number of risks, including changes in customer spending plans and technology roadmaps, worldwide economic conditions and the continued technological leadership of our products. For additional information and considerations regarding the risks faced by Nanometrics, see its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended January 1, 2011 as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as other periodic reports filed with the SEC from time to time. Nanometrics disclaims any obligation to update information contained in any forward-looking statement.
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