Photovoltaic Devices and Methods:
Fabrication, Deposition, Mass Production (Patent Family)

Opportunity

Available for Licensing
(Individual / Family)

Inventors

Robert A Enzenroth
Joseph D LoBue
Lawrence J Knipp
Kurt L Barth
Walajabad S Sampath
Kevin E Walters
Davis R Hemenway
Pavel S Kobyakov

IP Status: Photovoltaic Devices and Methods Family of Patents

Reference No.: 13-027

Improving Thin Film Deposition (Systems and Methods)

US Utility Patent: US 8480805
US Utility Patent: US 9127357

 

Reference No.: 13-025

Fabrication using Heated Pocket Deposition (Apparatus and Methods)

US Utility Patent: US 8557045

 

Reference No.: 07-075

Rapid Cooling of Large Area Substrates in a Vacuum (Apparatus and Methods)

US Utility Patent: US 7803419
US Utility Patent: US 8302554

 

Reference No.: 13-026

Process for Mass Production

US Utility Patent: US 7220321

 

Reference No.: 12-046

Deposition of Complex Thin-Film Alloys

US Utility Patent: US 8778081
US Utility Patent: US 8956698

 

At a Glance

These technologies belong to a large portfolio of thin film technologies specifically developed for CdTe photovoltaic devices but potentially applicable to a wide variety of thin fim technologies.

Thin film coated substrates are ubiquitous in today’s society and have been used for numerous aspects of consumer electronics (from integrated circui fabrication to cell phone, computer, and television display coatings), optics (e.g. coating glass), microparticle fabrication, photovoltaic fabrication, and packaging (e.g. aluminum coating on plastic for potato chip bags).

Licensing Director

Mandana Ashouri
Mandana.Ashouri@colostate.edu
970-491-7100

Reference No.: 13-027

Short Overview of Technologies

13-027

This innovation is intended to be used in a thin film deposition system requiring multiple fabrication steps under a continuous vacuum. In such a system, a substrate will be transported through several stations, each station performing a unique fabrication step on the substrate. For steps in which a thin film of material will be deposited using thermal methods, there is a need to seal the deposition chamber from the rest of the system under vacuum. This technology provides a method and apparatus to movably seal the deposition chamber.

  • System for movably sealing a deposition chamber within a larger system under vacuum
  • Compensates for the gap between substrate transport and deposition source
  • Reduces leakage of material from deposition chamber to other surfaces within vacuum system
  • Decreases cleaning costs and minimizes system downtime for cleaning

13-026

This innovation is a high throughput thin film device manufacturing process that produces stable, high efficiency devices and, at the same time, limits environmental and occupational exposure to toxic compounds. The technology consists of a comprehensive apparatus and system for large scale inline manufacturing of CdTe photovoltaic modules in which all steps are performed within a single vacuum boundary at modest vacuum pressures.

  • Comprehensive, high throughput manufacturing system for thin film devices
  • All steps conducted under/within one vacuum boundary
  • Result is improved throughput rate, film quality, device efficiency, device stability, and device cost
  • Minimizes toxic waste production and limits worker exposure to hazardous compounds
  • Optimized for CdTe photovoltaic devices but applicable to variety of thin film devices

13-025

This technology pertains to an apparatus and method for rapidly cooling a large substrate in a vacuum environment. While normal radiative cooling in a vacuum would require a number of hours to cool a substrate from 200 °C to 25 °C, this technology can perform this temperature reduction in 2-4 minutes. Such a dramatic reduction in time can reduce total device fabrication time, increase throughput rate and increase overall manufacturing capacity.

  • Reduces cooling time of a substrate in vacuum from hours to just a few minutes
  • Decreases device fabrication time
  • Increases throughput rate and overall manufacturing capacity

12-046

This innovation is a process and hardware by which deposition of large-area alloy thin films is possible with varied material properties throughout the thickness. The hardware is a close-space sublimation (CSS) sources with an added valve-controlled and thermally independent vapor feed. For example, the added vapor feed could be another sublimation source that is valved by a mechanical shutter. The added vapor feed allows alloying and/or doping of the grown film during deposition and can be adjusted continuously during the deposition to form graded films.

  • Thin film deposition of complex alloys onto large area substrates
  • Scalable, fast, and able to deposit alloyed films of graded composition over the film thickness
  • Reduces production costs and increases design flexibility of thin film devices
  • Useful for advanced photovoltaic modules and for many other thin film technologies

07-075

This technology pertains to an apparatus and method for rapidly cooling a large substrate in a vacuum environment. While normal radiative cooling in a vacuum would require a number of hours to cool a substrate from 200 °C to 25 °C, this technology can perform this temperature reduction in 2-4 minutes. Such a dramatic reduction in time can reduce total device fabrication time, increase throughput rate and increase overall manufacturing capacity.

  • Apparatus and method for rapidly cooling a large substrate in a vacuum environment
  • Can perform temperature reduction from 200 °C to 25 °C in 2- 4 minutes
  • Reduces total device fabrication time while increasing throughput rate and overall manufacturing capacity

 

Please contact CSU Ventures for more detailed information about the technologies within this Family.

Last updated on October 7, 2019.