Who We Are
Aurora Solar Technologies develops, manufactures and markets inline quality control systems for the solar cell manufacturing industry.
Our products measure and display the results of critical cell fabrication processes, revealing material properties and the performance of manufacturing tools and processes. They allow process engineers and production-line operators to rapidly detect and correct process excursions, material faults and optimize processes, thereby increasing our customers’ throughput, yield and profit.
Aurora is a public company, headquartered in Vancouver Canada. We are listed on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol ACU.
What We Do
Solar cells, made primarily from silicon wafers, are the electricity-generating elements within solar panels, which are seen on rooftops, streetlights and large-scale “solar farms” throughput the world.
During the fabrication of solar cells, certain chemicals, applied to create layers in or on a silicon wafer during manufacturing, transform the wafer from an inert substrate to an energy-generating cell. The concentration, uniformity and other properties of these layers are critical to the finished cell’s performance. To achieve their high electrical efficiencies, advanced solar cells require strict control of variations in these and other critical-to-quality treatments during manufacturing. Aurora’s products provide the means to measure these variations, understand their impact on production yield and throughput, and control or optimize production processes to reduce negative effects.
Within the overall solar cell manufacturing industry, Aurora’s customers are those who fabricate advanced solar cells. These advanced cells lead the industry in the efficient conversion of light into electrical energy. They include those using Passivated Emitter and Rear Contact (PERC) technology, which have a specialized chemical layer on the back to increase light absorption, bifacial technology, using light collected from both sides of the cell, and heterojunction technology (HJT) that involves multiple nano-scale chemical layer depositions on the top and bottom of the cell. These higher-power solar cells command a premium in the market compared to commodity-grade solar cells, providing their manufacturers with better profitability in this highly competitive industry.
Control and optimization of solar cell production starts with measurement. Aurora’s DMTM products use proprietary patented technology, based on the principles of infrared spectroscopy, to measure the properties of the afore-mentioned solar cell chemical layers as they are deposited and annealed.
Our VisualizeTM software then uses the real-time data provided by our DM measurement products to show the relationship between the per-wafer measurements and the changing spatial variations in chemical layer properties induced by variations in the behaviour of manufacturing equipment used to create these layers. This “MRI”-like view of process tool performance provides the means to quickly and effectively perform diagnostics, control and equipment optimization.
Our newest product, InsightTM, is a “data science” package that extends our product portfolio, from measurement and characterization of equipment variation, to provide a deep understanding of the effects of these variations on finished cell efficiency. This proprietary product analyses the large volume of data available from the sequence of finished solar cells in a production line and reveals the links between unwanted variations in their efficiency and the causes in production. These analyses allow advanced cell manufacturers to know precisely when and how to control their production for optimal yield and throughput, allowing them to increase their profits.