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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Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
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Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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