New Production Volume Ultrasonic Spray Pyrolysis System for TCO Deposition from Sono-Tek for Cost-effective Thin Film Solar Manufacturing

Jun 05, 2012, 09:00 ET from Sono-Tek Corporation

MILTON, N.Y., June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Sono-Tek's new IMPACT ARRAY system is designed for high temperature ultrasonic spray pyrolysis processes used to deposit acid solutions for creating TCO layers in production volume thin film solar manufacturing. The system features an array of Sono-Tek's new corrosive resistant Cobalt A12 Series ultrasonic nozzles for non-clogging, repeatable, long life performance, even under demanding high temperature conditions spraying corrosive solutions. TCO layers deposited using the IMPACT ARRAY system have near the same efficiency as those created using CVD equipment, but at a fraction of the cost of equipment and minimized overspray of expensive materials.

This unique inline coating system uses a state-of-the-art control tower with HMI touch screen interface and Windows-based software for complete control of spray parameters and programming functions. Sono-Tek spray systems integrate seamlessly with existing manufacturing lines.

Some feature of the IMPACT ARRAY TCO system include:

  • High temperature protected design, allowing for installation directly above 600oC substrates.
  • Proprietary materials of construction protect wetted paths from TCO acid solutions.
  • Designed for integration into high volume manufacturing lines.
  • Integrated control of nozzle, liquid delivery flow rate and deposition for a full coating solution.
  • Non-clogging ultrasonic nozzles produce repeatable, controllable, uniform thin films.
  • Cost effective alternative to CVD/sputtering processes.

The IMPACT ARRAY uses high frequency ultrasonic nozzle technology. Sono-Tek Ultrasonic nozzles operate by converting high-frequency electrical signals, fed into two electrodes which are sandwiched between two piezoelectric transducers, resulting in expansion and contraction of the transducers. This causes vibrations to be sent down the nozzle's titanium horn, creating capillary waves in liquid fed down the center of the nozzle. Liquid emerging onto the nozzle's atomizing surface is broken into a spray of micron sized droplets by the ultrasonic energy concentrated there.

This ultrasonic nozzle design provides an easily controllable atomized spray that cannot clog because of the large feed orifice and the self-cleaning ultrasonic vibration. In addition, the droplets produced have a mathematically defined size, based on the frequency of the ultrasonic nozzle. This  phenomenon, combined with the low velocity, unrestricted spray results in repeatable spray performance with very little variance in droplet size, producing highly uniform, homogenous coatings.

Sono-Tek Corporation provides ultrasonic wet process coating systems for R&D, pilot lines and production volume thin film solar manufacturers globally. Ultrasonic coating systems are proven, cost-effective deposition solutions for active and buffer layers in CIGs, CZTSS, CdTe and organic solar cells, as well as depositing TCO solutions. For further information, contact Bennett Bruntil at 845-795-2020 or go to our website at

SOURCE Sono-Tek Corporation