ClassOne’s Solstice CopperMax Plating System Chosen for MicroLink’s Advanced UAV

Semiconductor equipment manufacturer ClassOne Technology announced the sale of its Solstice® S8 electroplating system to MicroLink Devices, a manufacturer of advanced, lightweight, and flexible solar cells. The new 8-chambered Solstice equipment, designed specifically for ≤200mm processing, will be installed at the MicroLink facility in Niles, IL, where it will be used for electroplating of semiconductor based solar cells for use on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and space satellites. The announcement was made jointly by ClassOne Group CEO, Byron Exarcos, and MicroLink Devices CEO and President, Dr. Noren Pan.


“We were especially interested in the Solstice’s high-speed automation and its ability to maximize control and uniformity of our electroplating processes,” said Dr. Pan. “Compared with our previous wet bench processing, the new Solstice will enable us to control the electroplating process much more precisely and maintain tighter consistency week to week across production runs. This is critical for achieving the high reliability required for solar cells that power unmanned aerial vehicles and satellites.”


“It is also important to note that MicroLink is getting the special CopperMax™ version of our Solstice plating system,” said Exarcos. “This unique tool is specifically designed to optimize copper plating processes, and it’s getting a great deal of attention today for its high performance and low cost of ownership.”


“ClassOne is proud to be working with MicroLink on this important, leading-edge program,” said Exarcos. “And it’s more than just supplying equipment, because our depth of experience in automated wet processing also enables us to assist MicroLink in setting up and optimizing their next-generation processes. Partnering with our customers in this way allows us to more deeply understand their objectives and achieve more effective solutions using the Solstice.”


Specifically designed for ≤200mm substrates, the Solstice S8 is a fully-automated 8-chamber system with up to 75-wph throughput. Special CopperMax™ and GoldPro™ versions of the tool provide additional optimizations of copper and gold processes respectively, and their exceptional cost/performance is rapidly making these tools leaders in their categories.


The Solstice is also available in 4-chamber and 2-chamber configurations. In addition to electroplating, the tool’s special Plating-Plus™ capabilities enable it to handle a number of other important functions, including wafer cleaning, high-pressure metal lift-off, resist strip, UBM etch and more. This multi-processing flexibility often reduces the number of different tools a user needs to purchase.


About ClassOne Technology
ClassOne Technology ( provides innovative new wet-chemical equipment solutions, including electroplaters, spin-rinse-dryers and spray solvent tools and more. The company focuses on making advanced technology available to users of ≤200mm substrates such as compound semiconductor and many cost-conscious emerging markets, who traditionally have been underserved by the larger equipment manufacturers. Overall, ClassOne Technology’s equipment has become known for its budget-friendly pricing, which is significantly lower than similarly configured systems from the larger manufacturers. It is often described as “Advanced Wet Processing for the Rest of Us.” Based in Kalispell, Montana, ClassOne Technology is built upon decades of experience from industry veterans creating high-performance semiconductor equipment. ClassOne Technology is a sister company to ClassOne Equipment (, long respected as the industry’s premier provider of refurbished name-brand processing tools, with over 2,500 systems installed worldwide.


About MicroLink Devices
MicroLink Devices, Inc., ( with headquarters in Niles, Illinois, is a compound semiconductor solutions company that specializes in metalorganic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) growth of semiconductor structures. Their innovative technology is applied in wireless communications devices and in advanced solar cells for space, unmanned aerial vehicles, and terrestrial use. Since 2003, MicroLink has been a prime federal contractor on more than thirty programs to develop solar cells, transistors, and lasers. MicroLink’s advanced GaAs-based solar cells utilize the company’s proprietary epitaxial lift-off (ELO) technology. This allows solar cell structures to be removed from the original substrate to produce a more efficient, lightweight, and flexible finished solar cell.

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