Bekaert to demonstrate latest innovations in rotatable sputtering technology at glasstec

Bekaert Advanced Coatings will showcase its latest range of rotatable sputtering solutions at glasstec. Visitors to these shows will have the opportunity to learn and understand how Bekaert“s advance…

Bekaert Advanced Coatings will showcase its latest range of rotatable sputtering solutions at glasstec. Visitors to these shows will have the opportunity to learn and understand how Bekaert“s advanced coating technologies continue to bring new innovative functionality to large area glass applications to improve overall quality – and how the same proven technology is now reducing the cost of manufacturing photovoltaic (PV) solar cells. Over the last 20 years, Bekaert has worked hand-in-hand with the glass industry to develop a range of advanced coating technologies to meet the growing demand for improved aesthetics and functional comfort. 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.