Process for selective ablation of a silicon nitride layer on a silicon wafer.
Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen
Silicon-based thin-film module, structured using laser radiation.
Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen
Fraunhofer ILT will be presenting the demonstrator of this polygon scanner to a professional audience at the joint Fraunhofer booth in Hall 3/G22 at the European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition, EU PVSEC, in Frankfurt from September 24 – 28, 2012. Combined with modern beam sources working at high repetition rates, the polygon scanner can significantly increase production throughput. It can be used for processing both thin-film solar modules and crystalline solar cells.Series connection for rigid and flexible solar modules
The challenge ILT researchers now face is to do this without impairing the functionality of the layers of conducting, semi-conducting, or insulating materials, which have thicknesses ranging from a few nanometers to a few micrometers. If, for example, residues of ablated material or thermal damage to neighboring areas occur during processing, the extreme thinness of these layers can lead to their degradation and cause the entire solar module not to work. The laser structuring processes therefore have to be adapted to the different characteristics of each individual layer. Ultrashort pulse lasers can be used for physical processes that are not feasible at longer pulse durations. This opens up new process windows, and paves the way towards new industrial-scale processes.In the FlexLas project, funded by the European Commission and the state government of North Rhine-Westphalia, a laser structuring technique for organic solar cells on flexible film substrates is being developed at Fraunhofer ILT. This type of solar module is considered an economical, forward-looking product in the field of solar energy. It might well be possible one day to make textiles or handbags with flexible solar cells, which could be used to charge a cell phone. The laser structuring processes being developed in Aachen can also be applied to other products with multiple-layer systems, such as smart phone screens and flat lighting elements.
Using the right beam source here can significantly improve the production process. ILT researchers are currently testing a variety of different beam sources in order to fulfill the widest possible range of parameters relating to pulse duration, wavelength, process-adapted intensity distribution, etc. while minimizing laser-related damage.
Axel Bauer | Fraunhofer-Institut
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