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UPM-Cell manufacturing and characterization

  • Solar cell manufacturing and characterization facilities

Technical Info

The  facility  is involved in

  • Manufacturing of silicon solar cells
  • Manufacturing of multijunction solar cells based on III-V Semiconductors
  • Manufacturing of advanced solar cells: intermediate band solar cells, thermophotovoltaic solar cells, etc.
  • Material and process characterization: crystallographic analysis of thin single-crystal film III-V materials, concentration of impurities, lifetime, spectroscopy, sheet resistance and resistivity, wavelength resolved light absorption or emission,…
  • Device characterization: solar simulators, I-V curve measurement, spectral responsivity, photoluminescence and electroluminescence spectroscopy,…
  • Modeling of solar cells: 3D distributed model code for SPICE Software, and TCAD physics-based numerical modeling.
  • Reliability and accelerated test of III-V solar cells: temperature accelerated life test



1.-Manufacturing of silicon solar cells

  • Dicing saw for wafers and glass substrates, model DISCO DAD321 for round (6”) and square wafers (156x156mm). Cut resolution of 1µm and a maximum stroke length of 32mm.
  • Wet benches. Etching, texturing and cleaning available for 2” and 4” wafers.
  • Diffusion furnaces. 6 furnaces for doping (P and B), oxidation and annealing wafers up to 4”.
  • PECVD reactor. Plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition of silicon nitride coatings. Up to 4” wafers.
  • Photolithography mask aligner for 2’’ wafers
  • Physical Vapor Deposition Equipment. E-gun and Joule-effect evaporation. Ti, Pd, Ag, Al. Up to to 4” wafers                    

2.- Manufacturing of multijunction and advanced solar cells

  • Cleaning and etching wet benches: acids, organics, plasma asher, contact layer etching, mesa etching
  • Photolithography Mask aligner - SUSS MicroTec MJB4. High-resolution photolithography in substrates and wafers up to 4''/ 100mm.
  • Wirebonder DELVOTEK 5430.  Equipment to make aluminum/gold wire connections with 17.5 to 75 um diameter.
  • Electron Beam Physical Vapor Deposition Tool- Classic 500 Twin High Vacuum Coating System. Separate chambers for metal and dielectric coatings
  • Joule effect Physical Vapor Deposition Tool for metals- Telstar Vacudel 300
  • Joule effect Physical Vapor Deposition tool for dielectrics
  • Rapid Thermal Process (RTP). Wafers up to 6’’; maximum heat slope of 75 K/s and temperatures up to 1000 °C; Anneal atmospheres available: Nitrogen, Hydrogen and Forming.
  • Plasma asher.  Low pressure plasma system from DIENER ELCTRONIC to clean semiconductor wafers.
  • Sputtering system to produce thin films.  PVD-MT/2M3T equipped with two sputtering RF magnetrons and three resistive thermal evaporation sources in the same process chamber.                  

3.- Material and process characterization

  • Inductively Coupled Photoconductance Decay lifetime tester. Sinton’s WTC-120 model. Measure of lifetime of minority carriers in p-type and n–type wafers. Sample sizes from 2” to 8”.
  • Microwafe Photoconductance Decay lifetime tester. Semilab WT-2000, mapping lifetime on silicon wafers up to 8”. Also performs LBIC (Laser Beam Induced Current) measurements.
  • Spectroscopic ellipsometer. HORIBA IBON JOVIN.  Characterization of thin films in the 190-850nm wavelength range with 2nm resolution.
  • Four point probe. Sheet resistance and resistivity of a wide range of materials.
  • FTIR. Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrometer to measure the absorption or emission of light at different wavelengths. 
  • High Resolution X-Ray Diffractometer. 5 arc sec Ge(440) point focus module (Bartels monochromator); 19 arc sec hybrid (combination x-ray mirror + channel cut Ge(220) monochromator) line focus module; Triple axis module with triple axis detector and rocking curve detector.

4.- Device characterization

  • Solar Simulator ORIEL SOL2A. 1000W Xe lamp. Sample Size: Max 6 x 6".Quantum Efficiency measurements. IQE-AC-XEN-EXT1. Spectral Range: 300 - 1800nm. Sample Size: Max 6 x 6".
  • I-V curve measurement system of single and multijunction solar cells under standard test conditions
  • Spectral responsivity (SR) measurement system, from 300 to 1840 nm and cell sizes from 1 mm2 to 1 cm2. It is totally adapted to measure multijunction solar cells by using a combination of different LED and laser diode light sources (530 nm, 740 nm, 940 nm and 1300 nm).
  • Photoluminescence and Electroluminescence Spectroscopy of III-V or other luminescent materials.
  • Electroluminescence Intensity Mapping.  In house developed system to measure the spatial uniformity of the light emission of a solar cell. Light emission of the cell is captured by a CCD camera and selective filters to visualize each subcell.

5.- Modeling of solar cells

  • 3D Distributed Model: in house developed code for SPICE Software
  • TCAD: 2D and 3D Silvaco Software adapted for III-V single and multijunction solar cells.

6.- Reliability and accelerated test of III-V solar cells

  • Climatic Chamber Thermotron SM-8-8200. Temperature range from -70ºC to +180ºC (-94ºF a +356ºF) and humidity control and forced convection
  • Forced convection electric oven for temperature accelerated life test. Temperature control between +5ºC and 250ºC.
  • On sun cell degradation. Homemade equipment able to measure light I-V curves  of up to 96 cells in a  module installed in our solar tracker.


    The access will be allowed with technical and scientific assistance from staff of the Instituto de Energía Solar (UPM)


  • Research on new solar cell structures
  • Fabrication of silicon solar cells
  • Specialties in silicon technology: n-type substrates, Boron emitters, very thin wafers, bifacial structures
  • Processing of semiconductors for companies and other research centers
  • Developing of suitable processing methods for third generation solar cells
  • Research on defect engineering approaches for unconventional silicon wafers.
  • Characterization of impurities and defects in crystalline silicon wafers and cells.
  • Material and device characterization of multijunction and advanced solar cells.


Services are done with the reference prices:


Participation to Research Projects:



UPM-IES | Avda. Complutense, 30 |  28040 |  Madrid- Spain

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