About Tau Science

Tau Science Corporation was founded in early 2008 to develop high speed characterization tools for photovoltaic cell manufacturers. We have partnered with leading PV manufacturers to produce cost effective, reliable process control equipment that improves yield by providing relevant, real-time information to Engineering and Production staff. We specialize in defect detection and cell performance monitoring and leverage our expertise in photovoltaic device characterization and semiconductor capital equipment design to produce world-class PV test equipment.

Tau is now shipping its IRIS and FlashQE product lines. Please contact us if you would like a demonstration of these unique capabilities.



Greg Horner, Ph.D. (CTO)

Greg has over 20 years of experience developing novel test and measurement techniques for the solar and semiconductor markets. Prior to founding Tau Science, he held engineering director and staff scientist positions at FEI, KLA-Tencor, and Keithley Instruments. He received a B.A. in Astrogeophysics from Colgate University, an M.S. in Applied Physics from Colorado School of Mines, and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from C.U. Boulder. He performed his graduate research in solar cell and materials characterization at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, where he focused on growth, processing, characterization and optical modeling of high efficiency multi-junction solar cells and thermophotovoltaics. He has more than 15 patents and 30 technical papers in the field.


Jamie Hudson, Ph.D. (President)

Prior to founding Tau Science, Jamie worked in management roles in the marketing and engineering departments of a Molecular Imaging and FEI Company. Jamie holds a B.S. in Chemistry from U.C., Berkeley, a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Cornell University, and an M.B.A. from the University of Oregon.


Oregon Headquarters

15250 NW Greenbrier Pky

Beaverton, OR 97006


Asian Sales Offices

China, Philippines, Japan, and Malaysia:


Hong Kong Headquarters
Flat 1612, 16/F, Cheung Fung Ind. Bldg., 23-39 Pak Tin Par Street,
Tsuen Wan, N.T. Hong Kong.

Telephone: (852) 2415 3601
FAX: (852) 2416 3641

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
On the web at: http://dymek.com


DCT Korea

JoongAng B/D #210, 729-6, Gojan-Dong,
Danwon-Gu, Ansan City,
Gyeong-Gi Do, Korea.

Telephone: 031-403-8792~3
FAX: 031-403-8794

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
On the web at: http://www.i-dct.com/


Sinsil International

G-7/G-2,Ground Floor
Phase- 8,New Bramhand Annex
Azad Nagar, Godbunder Road,
Thane (W) - 400 607, Mumbai

Telephone: 022-25895077 / 022-25898041
FAX: 022-25898020

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
On the web at: http://www.sinsilinternational.com/

European Sales Office

Tau Science is represented by Euris-Sarl throughout Europe


French Headquarters
Centr'Alp Rue de Corporat

Telephone: +33 (0)4 76 35 07 07
FAX: +33 (0)4 76 35 07 47

eMail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
On the web at: http://euris-semiconductor.com

Tau Science IRIStm Hotspot Detection System



IRIS™ is an innovative, in-line screening tool capable of identifying solar cells with shunt defects (hot spots) in under 500 milliseconds. Customers can increase revenue and profit by discerning between cells that are safe for assembly into modules while discarding electrically similar cells that will overheat and degrade in the field. IRIS, exportable under ITAR, is designed for integration into the cell manufacturing line and is running at top-tier manufacturing sites. A stand-alone version (shown above) is also available.

The IRIS system integrates a deep infrared camera and proprietary image processing algorithms to assess the shunt characteristics of the cell under reverse bias conditions. The analysis is controlled through a user configurable recipe with control limits that disposition the cell into Pass or Fail bins in less than one second. The results of this fast, in-line measurement have been shown to correlate well with conventional lengthy cell heating measurements. Adding this unique inspection impacts the manufacturer’s top line by identifying cells that will operate within preset temperature limits and can therefore be shipped as product. It impacts the manufacturer’s bottom line by conclusively identifying cells prone to field failure that should be scrapped.

A PV manufacturer with stringent RSH sorting criteria may bin up to 5% of production as cells “at risk.” Tau’s experience is that approximately ½ of cells rejected on low RSH can be safely used in modules. Recapturing these cells for production results in $1.25M of additional annual cell revenue and $2.5M of additional module revenue per 50MW of output. Similarly, module manufacturers who are concerned with reliability guarantees and warranty reserves can increase their long-term product performance by utilizing IRIS to inspect cells prior to module assembly.

IRIS System Specifications

IRIS 110 series - Manual system

  • Infrared Camera: 8-14 micron wavelength
  • Resolution: 256x256 pixels
  • Field of View: 100, 125, 150mm [others on request]
  • Sample DC Bias: ±10 Amps, ±20 Volts
  • Recipe-driven UI: Advanced Recipe Builder, Data Review & Replay
  • Measurement Dwell Time Configurable via recipe: 100-500ms typical
  • Failure Modes Detected:
    • Excess leakage current (user-configurable limits)
    • Time-resolved hotspot analysis (transient, steady-state)
    • Configurable image analysis algorithm for Pass/Fail sort
  • Power Conditioning: Integrated Uninterruptible Power Supply
  • AC Power Input: 220VAC, 1phase, 10A, 50-60Hz
  • Safety: EMO, LOTO breaker


  • Measurement Chuck: Configurable per customer requirements
  • Configurable Data Backup: Automated data push to server or NAS
  • Yield Summary File for Host:
    • Defect location, severity, temperature
    • Pass/Fail results of hotspots & J-V test

IRIS 210 series - Automation ready system

  • Same configuration and options as IRIS 110
  • Automation-ready module with compact measurement chamber and electronics modules integrates to wafer handler via industry-standard 24VDC communications link.


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Our Mission

Tau Science is committed to accelerating the global adoption of Photovoltaic Solar by providing products which increase device efficiency, yield, and reliability. We will achieve this mission through product innovation and by making our customer's challenges our own.

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