Thin Film Technology

Thin Film Technology (TFT) is engaged in thin-film deposition processes, an enabling technology for many large-surface electronics applications, such as thin film solar cells, (O)LED lighting and (O)LED displays.

TFT's mission is to develop innovative scalable deposition technology for the production of large area applications. At the moment the focus is mainly on the production of thin-film solar cell production equipment and processes.

TFT is an important co-founder of Holst Centre (2005) and Solliance Solar Research (2010, a partnership between IMEC, ECN, TU/e and TNO). Within Solliance Solar Research, TFT is responsible for the development of CIGS-based solar cells (CIGS is a crystal structure made of copper, indium, gallium and selenium). TNO has a reference R&D CIGS production line for this purpose. TFT, together with its industrial partners, develops materials, processes and new generation production equipment for better and cheaper CIGS solar cells.

Our expertise

TFT is working on the process development of the following technologies, which are used for innovative steps in the CIGS production process:

  • Spatial Atomic Layer Deposition (sALD): a technology applied in the deposition of a cadmium-free buffer layer, transparent conductive layer (TCO) and a barrier layer, among others
  • Atmospheric pressure (plasma enhanced) chemical vapour deposition (AP(PE)-CVD): used in TCO deposition
  • Wet-chemical deposition of the buffer layer
  • Inkjet printing for applying a conductive grid
  • Laser technology for insulating and connecting different conductive layers
  • Selenisation: activation of the CIGS layer
  • Light management: TCO and nanostructuring.

The combination of the above areas of expertise enables TFT to develop industrial-scale solutions suitable for equipment and processes for thin-film solar cells and displays.

Our work

Materials for the High-Tech Industry

Trends in the high-tech industry are pushing toward miniaturisation, the creation of products with complex shapes, and multi-functional materials. To keep up with ever-increasing demands, companies must... Read more

Equipment for Additive Manufacturing (EFAM)

The department Equipment for Additive Manufacturing (EfAM) develops cutting-edge technology and high-precision machine concepts for 3D printing and layer-wise material deposition. These technologies are... Read more

ENVISION: Energy harVesting by Invisible Solar IntegratiON in building skins

25 October 2018
To achieve the European goal of an energy-neutral built environment in 2050, harvesting of solar energy from all surfaces of buildings should be maximized. TNO coordinates the EU project ENVISION, which... Read more

Expertise groups

André Schilt MSc

  • Thin film
  • solar
  • plasma technology


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