Laser micromachining in photovoltaic processing

St. Charles, Mo. – Driven by ecological awareness and short-running fossil combustibles, photovoltaics is gaining ever-increasing importance for the production of energy. Moreover, extensive government aid formidably assists the solar industry both on the national and the international level.

In order to achieve a reduction of manufacturing costs and increase the efficiency in parallel, manufacturers of solar cells readily invest in utilization of lasers, which guarantee high efficiency and throughput at best-attainable precision and minor damage to the cells.

Particular advantages of laser machining of fragile silicon wafers consist of contactless energy insertion, the capability of flexible beam guidance, and the exact control over supply of energy. Damage to the material is avoided that way and failure rates are minimized.

3D-Micromac AG provides powerful and highly precise stand-alone systems as well as integrated solutions for existing, fully automated production lines for laser machining of solar cells. Numerous process monitoring methods including tracking and tracing of process parameters and online energy monitoring ensure additional process reliability. In parallel, the company is ready to develop new processes or systems on customer's demands as a qualified partner.

3D-Micromac AG  develops and manufactures state of the art laser micromachining workstations for industry, research, and science. These systems are used in facilities for production of photovoltaic systems and processing of semiconductors and medical applications. Processes used with laser micromachining are micro drilling, signing, cutting, 2D and 3D structuring, and marking of various materials and thin films.

The trend of development in recent years for electronic or photovoltaic devices is: "Make it more reliable, make it more lightweight, make it cheaper, make it more flexible!" One result of this fact is that there is a steady growing demand in the industry for thin film processing systems. To reach the aforementioned goals, these systems must provide some essential functionality as higher throughput or larger machining areas.

The new microSPIN is a laser micromachining system for thin film materials handled with an integrated Roll-to-Roll transportation system. With its high speed picture recognition system, it is possible to make laser micromachining at a roll speed up to 2.8 m/s in real time. Another proof of the flexibility of the microSPIN system is universal handling for every kind of material. The system is able to process plastic materials, thin film layer substrates or even change it in-between, also with different material thicknesses.

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