• 2014


    By: Olivia Niitsoo, Christopher Mah, Rebecca Stamm, Jeff Dawley, Val Ryabov and Elmira Ryabova


    Glass is an integral component for modern technology – from consumer electronics like cell phone screens and OLEDs to large area photovoltaic (PV) panels, glass often serves as the substrate or superstrate in contact with transparent conducting oxides or other active layers. Thus, device performance depends on the chemical composition of the glass: alkali metal ion diffusion can deteriorate device performance over time. Use of a thin coating that blocks ion diffusion relaxes the demands to glass manufacturing and allows to source glass from different suppliers without compromising reproducibility.

    Diffusion barrier coatings are generally less than few hundred nanometers thick, dense coatings that have to withstand the subsequent processing steps (e.g. high temperature). Solution Derived Nanocomposite (SDN®) technology can produce barrier coatings that meet these demands without the complexities and cost associated with commonly used vacuum (PVD, ALD etc.) and chemical vapor deposition (CVD) techniques. SDN® barrier coatings are applied on glass sheets in a specially designed and patented Roll Coater without the need for vacuum technology at any stage of the process. Tuning of coating properties (thickness, refractive index etc.) is achieved by controlling physicochemical properties of the coating solutions. Optical properties and mechanical durability of SDN® barrier coatings will be discussed.

    SDN® diffusion barrier coating is a single-layer coating that blocks sodium ion diffusion, but also enhances optical properties by reducing reflectivity and improves abrasion resistance of glass.

    To read the full report, download the paper here.


    Jeff Dawley, Christopher Mah, Olivia Niitsoo, Val Ryabov and Dr. Elmira Ryabova


    SDN® diffusion barrier coating is a single-layer coating that blocks sodium ion diffusion, but also enhances optical properties by reducing reflectivity and improves abrasion resistance of glass.

    To read the full report, download the paper here.

  • 2013


    Niitsoo, V. Ryabov, J. Dawley, P. Wang, E. Ryabova  | Glass Performance Days 2013, June 13, 2013, Tampere, Finland


    Low-emission (low-e) coatings on architectural glass are a key component for creating sustainable, energy-efficient buildings. They act as optical filters that selectively reflect incoming infrared radiation while transmitting visible wavelengths. We present Solution Derived Nanocomposite (SDN®) technology – a unique alternative to the commonly used vacuum (PVD, CVD, ALD etc.) and non-vacuum (electroplating, CBD, screen-printing etc.) deposition techniques. The key advantages of SDN® are excellent uniformity and purity of the deposited films, substantially lower capital and operating costs, high throughput and material utilization, and low waste treatment cost. SDN® coatings are applied on glass sheets in a specially designed and patented Roll Coater without the need for vacuum technology at any stage of the process. Tuning of optical and other properties is achieved by controlling physicochemical properties of the coating solutions. Unlike metal-based low-e coatings, SDN® low-e coating does not interfere with transmission of cellular communication frequencies. Environmental testing shows excellent durability of SDN® low-e coatings on glass. In addition to low-e coatings, SDN® technology with the Roll Coater allows the production of transparent conductors, electro-chromic films, abrasion- and scratch- resistant coatings, and antifogging coatings.

  • 2012


    Drs. E. Ryabova, N. Wang, M. Shkolnikov, A. Skumanich  |  SemiCon West Conference, July 12, 2012, San Francisco, CA, USA


    An Innovative technology is introduced which improves upon the current chamber protective coatings in semi processing equipment. The novel protective coatings are shown to have several advanced capabilities as well as lower overall costs. The protective coatings are engineered to enable ULSI IC-device manufacturing at and below 22nm design pitch providing two levels of protection for chamber components that eliminates on-wafer defects and for contaminations. High purity fully conformal coatings are applied to the various exposed process chamber parts (shower head, liners, etc.) which can be attacked by the process gases and process environment. The desirable elements for these protective coatings are to withstand this attack and to reduce particle shedding or flaking and metal ion contamination. The key improvements with the novel protective coatings are: lower erosion rates, fully conformal coverage, longer lifetimes between PM's, reduced layer stress, reduced particulate development is anticipated as a result of the key features. In addition, the novel deposition method for the protective coatings allows for: complete coverage of even small features or high-aspect ratio features such as the openings in the shower heads, for improved thermal cycling, and also importantly for lower overall processing costs. The key improvements are: better OEE and overall wafer yield. The talk will outline the deposition approach, provide data on the improved coating functionality, and give an understanding of the cost benefits. A comparison will be made for some key parameters, such as erosion rate, against some standard chamber coatings. The overall implications for improved semi production will be expounded including the reduction in energy and materials for processing, the ability to scale to 450mm, and the enabling elements for the 20nm nodes.


    Drs. E. Ryabova, N. Wang, A. Skumanich  |  9th International conference on Coatings on Glass and Plastics, June 24, 2012, Breda, The Netherlands


    A novel process is described which improves upon the current approach to coating deposition onto glass by using vacuum coating technologies. This method is achieved without vacuum and at room temperature to apply a range of nanocomposite, clear coatings onto large glass surfaces. The types of coatings include those for scratch and abrasion resistance, as well as other types of compounds, which can be used for anti-reflection (AR) and for Low-e types of films. The technology allows for the application of films over 3 meter square areas with a high throughput that allows for cost effective production implementation. It can be seamlessly integrated into existing glass manufacturing lines. Data will be presented on specific films for scratch and abrasion resistance. Various types of standard measurements are made which include Linear Tabor Abrasion test verified by Haze and Spectral Transmittance measurements, which address the ASTM standards. The results show that the films provide improved coatings with capabilities that meet the functionality requirements. Additional films are developed and discussed which address the AR and Low-e film stack requirements. The general aspects of the novel vacuum-free approach will be outlined and specific data presented. The cost comparisons to standard approaches based on PVD or CVD types of deposition will be highlighted. In addition the advantages as compared with PVD or CVD will be discussed in the context of providing film deposition capability for: large area (2m x 2m and beyond), production scale (more than 1Million sq meters/system/year), and process robustness. Specific superior properties are detailed, and interface engineering capabilities are highlighted for the variety of multilayer stack fabrication in a very economical way.

  • 2011


    Drs. E. Ryabova, A. Skumanich, M. Shkolnikov  |  PV SEC 26th International Conference Proceedings, September 2011, Hamburg, Germany


    Highly scalable disruptive thin film deposition technology is developed and validated based on a modified sol-gel method in response to PV-industry quest for the high quality-low cost methods of fabricating PV-cell structures. This “liquid” based approach is envisioned to replace currently used encapsulants to enable high throughput conveyer type processing of PV-cells with enhanced performance due to the outstanding purity, uniformity and extended light management capability of this method. Solution Derived Nanocomposite (SDN®) technology offers an unmatched potential for moisture barrier materials design and engineering in terms of composition and microstructure without using cost prohibitive solutions. Wide variety of layer compounds can be formed, free from residual byproduct intoxication of the cell. SDN® encapsulating technology demonstrated the necessary capability to produce protective moisture barrier layer on top of TFPV-structure without compromising its’ as-produced power conversion efficiency. This layer can minimize environmental impact and weathering-caused TFPV-cell performance deterioration. SDN® films satisfy the requirements in regard to the damp heat (85/85) test and UV resistance verification, and are lower cost.


    Drs. E. Ryabova, A. Skumanich, and M. Shkolnikov  |  IEEE 37th PV SC International Conference Proceedings, July 2011, Seattle, WA, USA


    The importance of advances in solar cells fabrication has been stressed lately by multiple FiT cuts and abrupt reduction in many other subsidies across the world. The adoption of photovoltaics as a replacement for the fossil fuels however is driven by the threatening to the ecological stability of the planet and has to do with the very existence of humankind. Thin Film Photovoltaics (TFPV) hold a promise to become a contrivance of choice if they will be able to raise numbers for power conversion efficiency complemented by reasonable stability and reliability data. TFPV cell is assembled of several critical layers sandwiched between electrodes, at least one of which has to be transparent. Transparent Conductive Oxides (TCO) play a critical role in PV-cell structure providing incoming passage for the light and outgoing passage for the charge carriers created as a result of conversion. High optical transparency and electrical conductivity are required for the enhanced solar cell performance. Non- defective interface with the under laying film stack is vital for the minimization of loses. Moreover those parameters have to be stable over the extended period of time in order to be practical for the PV-module field installation. Highly efficient technologies (in terms of material cost and utilization rate as well as low capital expenditure and energy consumption) are in demand to build a solar device of required quality and stability at non-prohibitive cost. Non-vacuum low impact technology is developed based on a liquid processing that can provide thin films of excellent purity and precision stoichiometry as well as accommodate conveyer based cells’ manufacturing. Optical, electrical and microstructural properties of these films on glass are tested; as deposited and after exposure to several durability testing methods. Excellent stability is verified in accordance with IEC 61730 and IEC 61215 standard procedures.