Laser manufacturing of photovoltaics

Munich, Germany – Laser World of Photonics (May 22 to 26),  a trade fair for photonics, and the World of Photonics Congress will present the focus topics of lasers and laser systems for production engineering, green photonics, and biophotonics and life sciences with a special emphasis on resource efficiency. One of the growth markets addressed in the context of the focus groups will be photovoltaics manufacturing.

Laser technology has proven superior in processes such as material removal, fusion, soldering, welding, and drilling. In addition, lasers have become indispensable tools, especially in the manufacture of thin-film solar cells.

Production steps including solar module edge coating removal are already common. In addition, using ultra-fast pulsed lasers for solar module processes such as soldering and welding of edge insulation is becoming typical. Laser World of Photonics exhibitors offering solutions to these processes include 3D-Micromac AG, Chemnitz; InnoLas Systems GmbH, Krailing; LIMO Lissotschenko Mikrooptik GmbH, Dortmund; Newport Spectra-Physics GmbH, Darmstadt; Schott AG, Mainz; and Umicore Thin Film Products, Balzers, Liechtenstein.

Future of photovoltaics manufacturing
Nanosecond laser pulses are frequently used in the production environment. Despite their very fast pulse, however, they are not suitable for some applications because the pulses are long enough to overheat the material. Future lasers for these processes will require picosecond and femtosecond pulses.

Exhibitors with picosecond and femtosecond lasers include Trumpf Laser GmbH + Co. KG, Schramberg, and Rofin Sinar Laser GmbH, Hamburg. Leading research institutes such as the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology (ILT), Aachen, will complement the exhibitors by presenting the latest findings from applied research and will provide detailed information on production and machining methods from thin-layer structuring to high-speed drilling of silicon wafers.

Photovoltaics manufacturing at the World of Photonics Congress
A practical talk entitled "Photovoltaics and Lasers” will be primarily devoted to the topic of photovoltaics manufacturing. The speakers will be Dr. Ulrich Hefter from Rofin Sinar and Arnold Gillner from the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology.

Another talk on this topic will be "Energy and Lightweight Construction: Laser Enables Productivity & Quality.” The speakers will be Dipl.-Ing. Rüdiger Daub from the Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management (iwb) at Munich Technical University and Dipl.-Ing. Florian Albert from Bayerisches Laserzentrum GmbH, Erlangen.

Laser World of Photonics has been held every two years since 1973. In 2009 it attracted 1,034 exhibitors and 25,365 visitors. The number of exhibitors and visitors from outside Germany has risen continuously and is presently 57% for exhibitors and 51% for visitors.

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