Materials from Liquid Precursors and Inert Atmosphere Materials Processing

National Laboratory: 
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Characterization Class: 
Processing/Manufacturing Class: 
Fabrication and synthesis

The Atmospheric Processing Platform offers powerful capabilities with integrated tools for depositing, processing, and characterizing materials—all within an inert gas environment. The tool can be used for deposition of pure materials and alloys from liquid precursors, e.g., metals, oxides, sulfides, selenides, and organics.

Capability Bounds: 

The maximum substrate size is 156 mm × 156 mm.

Unique Aspects: 

After more than 15 years in precursor ink development, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory offers a cluster of six coupled gloves boxes for comprehensive inert gas processing; ultrasonic spray, inkjet, aerosol jet, and slot-die deposition; rapid thermal processing; x-ray diffraction and x-ray fluorescence; integrated vacuum deposition capabilities (sputter and evaporation); and inert transfer between parts of the system with other NREL facilities.


The capability is offered for broad material exploration as part of NREL’s Process Development Integration Laboratory (PDIL).

Single Point of Contact: 

Name: Maikel van Hest
Phone: 303-384-6651

  1. ‘Printed Module Interconnects', T.R. Stockert, J.D. Fields, G. Pach, S.A. Mauger, M.F.A.M. van Hest, Proceedings of the IEEE 42nd Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (2015) ‘Non-contact printed aluminum for metallization of Si photovoltaics', H.A.S. Platt, Y. Li, J.P. Novak, M.F.A.M. van Hest, Thin Solid Films 556 (2014) 525
  2. ‘Solution deposited precursors and rapid optical processing used in the production of CIGS solar cells', P.A. Hersh, C.J. Curtis, M.F.A.M. van Hest, S.E. Habas, A. Miedaner, D.S. Ginley, B.J. Stanbery, Proceedings of the 37th IEEE Photovoltaic Specialist Conference (2011)
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