Flames - Measurement system for functional layers

LayTec Flames is a multi-head optical metrology system for monitoring multi-layer thin-film structures in large area processes. It measures multi-traces of layer thickness, reflectance, and transmittance uniformity directly after the deposition in in-line processes with thickness resolutions down to less than  1 nm. Typical applications are functional layers in display industries, foil coating (roll-to-roll), and glass coatings. Flames is suitable for nearly any thin-film production line. With its contact-free optical approach it measures close to the process and allows closed-loop control of layer deposition and etching. With LayTec Flames you get homogeneity information of layers at the tact rate of your line, directly after processing, complete with statistical analysis. You can apply quality thresholds and alarms for fast reaction of operators.

Antireflective coatings on solar glass

In order to minimize efficiency losses due to reflection of sun light on the front glass of PV modules, high-end solar glass is often equipped with an antireflective coating. The coating is deposited as a liquid by spray-coating or by printing techniques. Thereafter it is dried and annealed in consecutive production steps. The properties of the coating must be optimized in a way that the minimum of the reflectance matches the spectral absorption and conversion efficiency of the solar cells. Hence, spectral reflectance measurements directly deliver the most relevant information to characterize the coating in the production line. Fig. 1 shows the reflectance of uncoated glass and of glass coated by two different ARCs.
Reflectance spectra of uncoated glass and of AR coated glass with reflection minima at 665 nm and 760 nm.
Fig. 1. Reflectance spectra of uncoated glass and of AR coated glass with reflection minima at 665 nm and 760 nm.

As the reflectance of an ARC on glass is very low (this is the very purpose of the ARC) and it is mostly deposited on rolled glass which is used in this field of application, in-line measurements are quite challenging. However, optimisation of the optical metrology system’s design allows measurements with a repetition rate of up to 100 Hz even under these conditions.
Further results of this research will be presented at the 11th International Conference on Coatings on Glass and Plastics (ICCG) in Braunschweig (Germany) on 12-16 June 2016. Don't miss the poster presentation of Dr. Steffen Uredat (LayTec) "Optical in-line monitoring of deposited layers in large area coating lines"or visit LayTec at Booth A16.

Download the Poster

Example: Measuring a-Si layer in display production








Application: in-line reflectance measurement for on-the-fly layer thickness analysis of an a-Si/SiO/SiN stack with metal contact pattern on Gen8 glass panel, directly after deposition in a cluster system. The system has no impact on the tact time and is easily integrated into the line on a conveyor. The measurement was performed on five traces with five measurement heads. Each trace yields 100 measurement points per panel. This allows detailed homogeneity control and statistics (min, max, ave, percentiles) over the whole panel size.

TF-Display: a-Si functional layers

LayTec Flames delivers high-accuracy information on the fly for production control. Cross-panel thickness fluctuations can be tracked as well as long-term drifts. Improve mean time to clean (MTTC) and yield by 100% control of your panels.

Fig. 1+2: a-Si thickness on two substrates A and B: in-line Flames is compared to ex-situ reference (Horiba)        

a-Si layer determined by ex-situ reference ellipsometer is thicker due to smaller refraction index. Same thickness fluctuations are resolved by both measurements. The Flames in-line measurement is done on the fly and covers 100% of substrates while the ex-situ reference method takes several minutes and can be applied to only a few % of substrates.

Stack 50nm a-Si / 100nm SiO / 50nm SiN

LayTec Flames offers nanometer accurate in-line monitoring of complete layer stacks (here: a-Si, SiNx, SiOx). Save lab analysis time and tighten product quality assurance by direct multi-layer analysis! The example shows the in-line measurement of SiNx and SiOx, additionally to a-Si in a 45nm a-Si / 100nm SiO / 50nm SiN stack with sub nanometer resolution. 


To find out how Flames can optimize your process please contact mail@laytec.de or simply call +49(0)30 89 00 55-0.