Today, Bekaert’s innovative rotatable sputtering technology is used around the globe to coat a wide range of large area glass applications including architectural (low-emissivity, solar control etc.) and automotive glass (hydrophobic glass, anti-reflective glass etc.).
“Since we first introduced the cylindrical magnetron technology in the large-area glass markets, material utilization has improved threefold, and both throughput and layer repeatability have increased significantly,” says Koen Staelens, Product Market Manager at Bekaert Sputter Products. “It’s no surprise the technology has become the standard for producing high quality and low cost coating stacks on large glass plates. A similar trend is anticipated for the fabrication of efficient photovoltaic (PV) solar cells (mainly thin-film, but also c-Si),” continues Staelens.
“In the early days of solar cell fabrication, the focus was on achieving acceptable energy conversion efficiencies. The traditional approach of using a planar magnetron cathode for depositing a thin film on the substrate offered good performance but targets became exhausted very quickly in large production runs. With the current trend towards high volumes, rotatable sputtering solutions will achieve the same or better cell performance while reducing the cost of ownership considerably.”
The benefits of rotating magnetron technology over traditional planar technology are now well known and accepted in the marketplace. Higher target material inventory and utilization rates, higher deposition rates, increased process stability, higher sputter efficiency and reduced coater down time all contribute to a lower total cost of ownership.
With over 4 500 magnetrons operating around the globe, Bekaert takes a leadership role in this market. Its success has been based on combining the right target materials with the appropriate magnetrons. Today, Bekaert offers complete sputter solutions consisting of the magnetrons and the cylindrical targets – but also the magnet bars, power supplies, gas distribution, control and automation systems.
Product information sessions on the stand
Visitors to the Bekaert stand at PVSEC 2010 will have the opportunity to see the Compact End Block (CEB), which is ideal for medium-powered applications and is renowned for its reliability and outstanding performance. Also on display will be the Adjustable Magnet Bar (AMB), which enables optimization of layer thickness uniformity and improves target utilization efficiency. Rotatable sputter targets being showcased include AZO, High purity Si, Mo, Sn, TiOx and ZnAl.
Along with the CEB and AMB, visitors to the Bekaert stand at Glasstec 2010 will also have the opportunity to see the standard End Block, trimline End Block – and the Bekaert Axial Magnetron (BAM) which is ideally suited for webcoating lines as it occupies no space inside the coater. The range of targets on display will include AZO, High purity Si, Mo, Sn, TiOx and ZnSn.
About the shows
Billed as the world’s leading industry forum for the global PV Solar sector, the 25th European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference (EU PVSEC) and Exhibition brings together the key specialists of the industry from around the globe. The aim of the event is to highlight progress in research, technological development and production processes within the solar industry. The event takes place from 6 to 10 September, 2010 at the Feria Valencia in Spain and Bekaert will be present at booth L2/H4/A52.
Recognized as one of the leading international trade fairs for the glass industry, Glasstec 2010 draws engineers, manufacturers and business professionals from around the world. It takes place at the Messe Düsseldorf, Germany, from 28 September to 1 October, 2010. Bekaert will be present at booth 12/B29.
Bekaert (www.bekaert.com) is a global technological leader in its two core competences: advanced metal transformation and advanced materials and coatings, and a market leader in drawn wire products and applications. Bekaert (Euronext Brussels: BEKB) is a global company with headquarters in Belgium, employing 23 000 people worldwide. Serving customers in 120 countries, Bekaert pursues sustainable profitable growth in all its activities and generates annual combined sales of € 3.3 billion.
Bekaert works closely with its customers to enable them to upgrade from planar to rotatable technology and offers lower cost of ownership through longer production runs, faster coating deposition and a more complete use of coating material.
Bekaert has built its experience in the sputtering technology field through its own plastic foil coating for window film and industrial applications. Bekaert was the first to bring rotatable targets to market and has successfully partnered with customers to develop the most advanced and complete sputter equipment to effectively use these targets for coating lines worldwide.
Industrial customers who execute a coating process for applications such as architectural and automotive glass (including Low-E and solar control films, and anti-reflective coatings), display glass and photovoltaic glass, can significantly benefit from adopting Bekaert’s sputter solutions and technology. Customers can also rely on Bekaert’s world-class local customer support and leading research and development.