Synova has received a follow-on order for its Laser MicroJet (LMJ) systems from a European-based solar cell manufacturer.
Representing one of Synova's largest equipment orders to date, the 25 LMJ systems will be integrated into its customer's edge-defined film-fed growth (EFG) process — a leading-edge, proprietary silicon-efficient technology — at its European-based solar fab.
These LMJ modules, the core of Synova's Laser MicroJet technology, will be used to cut the venture's 125- and 156-mm polysilicon EFG-octagonal tubes into wafers for solar cell manufacturing. Several LMJ systems have already been shipped and installed, with the remaining modules to be integrated throughout 2009 and 2010.
Wafering, the cutting of silicon tubes into wafers, is a new application area for Synova's Laser MicroJet, which offers a superior alternative to conventional approaches, especially traditional lasers.
Contrary to results by conventional lasers, Synova's LMJ approach offers a less abrasive cutting process without causing heat damage, micro-cracks and burr formations that can weaken the wafers' fracture strength.
Commenting on today's announcement, Bernold Richerzhagen, Synova's CEO, noted, "This major production order has provided Synova with a unique opportunity to help speed production, adoption and overall efficiency and quality of today's leading-edge solar cells. ... We are thrilled that our IP will be a key manufacturing ingredient to our customer's new breed of high-quality solar cells."
The LMJ systems purchased by the customer will be custom-configured with a 200-watt dual-cavity green laser source, maximizing throughput.
Related ILS article:
June 2008: Laser joining photovoltaic modules