Scientific Vacuum Systems Limited

Research & Development

SVS are committed to investing in research for new sputtering and evaporation techniques to develop processes to a commercial scale.
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Vacuum Deposition System


SVS and their research collaborator Centre for Renewable Energy and Systems Technology (CREST) @ Loughborough University won a BERR grant worth £706,000 over a five year programme to design and construct a Copper Indium Gallium Selenide solar cell pilot production deposition system and use it to develop the Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) process to a commercial scale using the expertise of the CREST scientists. The objective was to develop a novel inline production system for high efficiency Copper Indium Gallium Selenide solar cell structures, employing the 3 stage process.




Currently Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) solar cells are typically produced using three separate vacuum deposition systems, two for the electrical contacts and one for the CIGS layer. The project aim was to combine the three systems into one – reducing the overall cost of the capital equipment. The system is an inline load-locked design to achieve higher throughput – reducing overall cost per device. The system is able to produce Copper Indium Gallium Selenide cell structures on substrates up to 30cm x 30cm (i.e. large) - again resulting in reduced cost devices.


Government Funded


The advantages offered by an inline processing system will provide a considerable technologically competitive advantage over the current Copper Indium Gallium Selenide (CIGS) processing equipment. Due to the inline nature of the process a high uniformity multi-aperture effusion cell technology has been incorporated. Copper Indium Gallium Selenide is an emerging, and technologically important, solar cell technology offering potentially higher performance at lower cost than competing photovoltaic technologies. See below for further information.

5 years

Programme Length

Scientific Vacuum Systems LTD

Further Research

Professor Hari Upadhyaya and his group at CREST have subsequently moved to Southbank University London and research is now being conducted in the Quantum 2010 system in a brand new facility dedicated to Photovoltaic research.

CIGS Processing Equipment
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