Emerging Laser Processes and Tool Technology in Solar Photovoltaics

By: Dave Clark

2009 has been a very turbulent year so far for both the commercial laser and the solar PV industry. We have witnessed a dramatic slow down in the industrial laser business worldwide and a significant turndown in the fortunes of many solar cell manufacturers and line equipment makers. In the midst of this PV industry shake-out however we are now seeing the emergence of some exciting new laser processes that promise to revolutionize the way we make solar cells and enable the drive to lower costs and higher efficiencies for the industry.

This presentation will discuss some of the current laser-based manufacturing techniques for crystalline silicon solar cells as well as thin-film solar panels. With an overview of laser processes, such as edge isolation, edge deletion, contact forming, and thin-film scribing. In addition laser processes that are currently in the R&D or pilot production stage will be reviewed and the author will offer an assessment of their respective prospects for adoption at the manufacturing level together with a perspective on what’s needed from the next generation solid state lasers to make this a reality.

Clark-Image-Emerging Laser Processes and Tool Technology in Solar Photovoltaics

The above brief overview was extracted from its original abstract and paper presented at The International Congress on Applications of Lasers & Electro-Optics (ICALEO) in Orlando, FL. To order a copy of the complete proceedings from this conference click here