Laser structuring used in photovoltaics manufacture

The Jenoptik Lasers and Material Processing division is strengthening its market presence in Asia where it will be supplying equipment for another thin-film solar cell production line. The order volume is in the single figure million euro range.

This new order will enable the Jenoptik Group to expand its presence in Asia and further establish itself as a supplier of production lines for the photovoltaics industry, specifically for the manufacture of thin-film solar cells. The new order for Jenoptik Automatisierungstechnik GmbH in the Laser Processing Systems business unit awarded at the beginning of March encompasses a production line together with the entire layer structuring and ablation technology. The use of lasers will allow for structuring with widths ranging from 30 to 60 micrometers. Delivery of the production line is planned for summer this year.

Solar cells comprise several wafer-thin layers which are applied to a backing material. After each layer is applied ultra high-precision structuring lines are inserted into the micrometer-thin layers. This process is carried out using the Jenoptik-Votan Solas systems. A specially adapted technology is being used for each structuring process. Depending upon the layer system, these technologies can be for example line ablation with a laser for the base metal layer and mechanical line ablation for the semiconductor and metal oxide layers. Lasers can also be used to perform the edge deletion.

This order will also enable Jenoptik to further establish its position in the current 2009 fiscal year as a supplier of mass-production solutions in the structuring and ablation process for the manufacture of solar cells. Over the months ahead Jenoptik also expects the Lasers & Material Processing division to procure further order intakes in this area of business. The figures for the 2008 fiscal year passed and the outlook for the current fiscal year will be presented by the Jenoptik Group at the Press Conference on the Financial Statements on Friday March 27, 2009, in Jena.

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