Document Type


Date of Award

Spring 5-31-2015

Degree Name

Master of Science in Electrical Engineering - (M.S.)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

MengChu Zhou

Second Advisor

Alan E. Delahoy

Third Advisor

Marek Sosnowski

Fourth Advisor

Ken K. Chin

Fifth Advisor

Durgamadhab Misra


The objective of this work was to assemble, install and operate a hollow cathode sputtering system (HCSS). Therefore a complex vacuum system was built to create the right sputtering environment. The purpose of the HCSS is to develop advanced thin conducting oxides (TCOs) as well as high resistivity transparent (HRT) layers which are used for thin film photovoltaic technology, particularly cadmium telluride based and copper indium gallium selenide based solar cells.

A theoretical background of the thin film technology and a comparison of different deposition methods in regards to the sputtering process is provided. Thereby, an in-depth investigation of zinc oxide (ZnO), tin oxide (SnO2), and cadmium stannate (Cd2SnO4) is presented. Furthermore, the operating characteristics of a hollow cathode are described. A detailed analysis of the different system components, as well as their functions, is thoroughly elucidated. Moreover, important system parameters required for the correct operation of the HCSS are identified.



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