June 20, 2013 | News & Notices Shimadzu Corporation Introduced SCI-8P Solar Cell Electrode Inspection System - Expanded line of SCI series inspection systems supports manufacturing highly reliable solar cells -


Shimadzu Corporation today introduced the SCI-8P electrode inspection system, which is designed for inspecting electrode printing processes used in the manufacturing of crystalline silicon solar cells.
This system features an imaging system with one of the highest resolution levels in the world, which means it can be used to inspect microelectrodes. Furthermore, it allows using a single system to simultaneously inspect electrodes and wafer appearance, and do it within one of the shortest measurement times available in the industry.

Background to Development

Due to the increased interest in clean energies, the start of renewable energy payment programs (feed-in tariffs), and other factors, the demand for solar cells continues to expand. On the other hand, solar cell markets are becoming increasingly competitive in terms of price and quality. Therefore, to improve productivity and ensure rigorous quality control, customers are demanding ways to automate the inspections performed in solar cell production processes, which currently are mostly performed manually.

In response, Shimadzu released two solar cell inspection systems in March of this year. The SCI-8SM compound inspection system enables using a single inspection system to simultaneously inspect for microcracks and wafer appearance. The SCI-8S is the industry's smallest exterior inspection system. Since then, these two models have earned high praises from customers in Japan, China, Taiwan, and elsewhere. Now we are expanding the SCI series by releasing the new SCI-8P model, which provides even more support for ensuring highly reliable solar cell production by helping to improve yield and conversion efficiency.
Products in the SCI series can be installed easily in the restricted spaces available in existing production lines, not just in newly designed production lines.

Features of the Product

1. Capable of inspecting even microelectrodes used for high conversion efficiencies

Due to the higher conversion rates in recent years, electrodes are becoming more and more detailed. In response, we developed the SCI-8P, which includes a camera that offers the highest level resolution in the industry (35 µm/pixel) and Shimadzu's proprietary image processing technology. This allows early detection of electrode defects, such as busbars and fingers that are too thick, thin, or broken, out-of-position printing, and so on. It also helps improve yield and prevent long-term interruptions to production due to production line stoppages.

2. Performs electrode and wafer surface inspections simultaneously and quickly

This single instrument can be used to simultaneously perform both electrode inspections, such as inspecting for thick, thin, or broken busbars and fingers, and wafer surface inspections, such as inspecting for cracks or protrusions on the wafer surface, inspecting for particles in the anti-reflective coating, and measuring the coating thickness and distribution. Furthermore, it can perform these inspections in a second or less per wafer, which is the fastest level measurement speed in the industry.


SCI-8P Electrode Inspection System for Crystalline Silicon Solar Cell


10 million yen (tax not included)


W307 x D311 x H840 mm (including main unit and lighting power supply)