Manufacturing Synergy between PV and Semiconductors

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Manufacturing Synergy between PV and Semiconductors—Learn More at SEMI Europe Spring Event

Today, the PV industry uses more silicon wafers than the micro-and nano-electronics industry. Photovoltaics (PV) is now an important industrial sector, and the synergies between PV and semiconductor manufacturing are complex but increasing apparent.

The core element of the SEMI Europe Standards Spring event is "PV & Mo(o)re: Energy—Efficiency—Electronics." The event will be held in Brussels on March 5–7, 2008 and will focus on the crossroads between photovoltaics and semiconductor manufacturing. Highlights will include these topics:

  • What can “More than Moore” bring to photovoltaics? According to Robert Mertens, senior VP at IMEC, and keynote speaker, “More than Moore” brings a lot to PV. He says that as future silicon cells get thinner, new techniques for surface passivation—also used in microelectronics—will be essential. He believes that new developments in 3D packaging will aid high-efficiency III-V stacked solar cells and that techniques based on porous silicon can be used for optical path length enhancement in both silicon solar cells and optical detectors. In addition, he believes that developments in Si quantum dots aiming at the optical sources in silicon may lead to future high-efficiency silicon solar cells.
  • Can mass-produced photodiodes work like LEDs to generate power? Andy Longford, consultant at PandA Europe (UK), will theorize that photodiodes are simply the reverse of LED technology so mass-produced photodiodes can work like LEDs to generate power. He says that generating decent power levels from small photosensing devices is the goal of the PV industry, with the emphasis now on light upon devices with lenses or mirrors. He believes that high-power LED packaging is similar to the needs of high-power photodiode packaging—opening the manufacturing door to automated assembly processes. Using “chip” type assembly processes can facilitate production of High Concentration PhotoVoltaic (HCPV) sensor elements because accurate physical location (in a 3D environment) is need for the best cell efficiency.
  • How can the PV industry benefit from process control and yield management techniques in Microelectronics? Dieter Rathei, managing director of DR YIELD Software and Solutions, will talk about just how far productivity yield management issues have progressed since the late 1990s. From a past that involved extreme confidentiality and almost nonexistent academic research, he will detail how the PV industry can benefit form process control and yield management techniques in microelectronics. Using vivid examples of what can go wrong in data management, process changes, and design of experiments, he will provide better solutions for the PV industry.
  • Solar Cells for Space: Using high-efficiency multi-junction solar cells for space and concentrator PV applications. Giovanni Flamand, team leader, High Flux devices, IMEC, will discuss the wide acceptance of high-efficiency, III-V multi-junction solar cells in space applications over the last decade. Si solar cells currently dominate the terrestrial PV market. However, higher-cost multi-junction solar cells can be a cost-competitive electricity-generation solution when applied in concentrator systems that take advantage of the cell’s high efficiency while minimizing the amount of expensive compound semiconductor material needed in the PV system. Flamand will review the basic operating principle of multi-junction photovoltaic devices and their design and technological challenges, as well as the roadmap to further increase conversion efficiencies over the current record value of approximately 40%.

In addition, topics will include PV standardization. Werner Bergholz from Jacobs University (Bremen) will give the closing remarks, and dinner will be held at De Ultieme Hallucinatie.

These Standards Committees will meet during the Spring Event 2008: Equipment Automation, Facilities, Photovoltaic, Gases and Liquid Chemicals, MEMS, Micropatterning, and Silicon Wafers.

SEMI Standards contribute to faster commercialization and time-to-market, especially for new and emerging technologies. The SEMI International Standards Program brings experts from the semiconductor, photovoltaic, MEMS, nanotechnology, flat panel display, and related industries together to exchange ideas and work jointly to develop globally accepted technical standards.

For more details please visit: or contact Carlos Lee at