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Press Release

23.09.2009
ROFIN at the EUVSEC - New Laser Solutions for Thin-Film Processing and Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing

ROFIN at the EUPVSEC - New Laser Solutions for Thin-Film Processing and Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing

For more than a decade now, ROFIN has been developing innovative solutions for every conceivable application in solar cell manufacturing. With a complete range of lasers available including CO2, Nd:YAG, Nd:Vanadate, disc, fiber and pico-second lasers and frequency-multiplied formats, ROFIN supplies every part of the solar cell production process. ROFIN‘s appearance at the EUPVSEC focuses amongst others on new laser sources and process technology for thin-film scribing and decoating and and on innovative solutions for roll-to-roll manufacturing.

Customizable Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing Solution

With more than 1.000 lasers installed in the photovoltaics industry and about 150 roll-to-roll systems delivered worldwide, combining both areas of expertise seemed only natural for ROFIN. ROFIN‘s new, widely customizable Roll-to-Roll Manufacturing solution handles step & repeat as well as on-the-fly processes. It and can be equipped with multiple laser sources to conduct several laser processing steps on-Si, µc-Si, CIGS and organic cells within one system. Typical applications are laser ablation, laser insulation of modules, monolithic integration and laser marking. For step & repeat applications specially designed, shake-proof laser optics are moved on high-speed and high-precision motorized axes. For on-the-fly applications the beam positioning is carried out by fast and precise galvo scanner heads. For ultimate precision ROFIN mounts all crucial  components on a massive granite platform. Vision control systems allow for  precise synchronization with fiducials and automated quality inspection.

New Laser Source for Thin-Film Scribing

The particularities of solar cell manufacturing ask for laser beam sources which are consistently optimized for this application purpose, like ROFIN‘s photovoltaic series. This laser series was specifically designed for scribing of photovoltaic and other electric thin-films. The applications include TCO/ITO/AZO layers on glass or flexible substrates, active layers on thin-film modules like a-Si/µ-Si, CdTe and CI(G)S, and the back contact layers like Al, Ag, Mo and combinations of such. The new member of the product family is the compact Powerline SL PV (1064 and 532nm) tailored for machine integration with one laser per scribe head. The well proven PowerLine EL PV series with higher output powers is tailored for beam splitting application supporting 2 or 4 scribe heads per laser.

More Power for Thin-Film Cell Decoating

For electrical isolation and hermetic sealing of the modules, the complete ablation of all layers from the edges of fully processed thin film solar cells on glass substrates is required. In order to meet the required throughput rates of modern production lines, ablation rates of max. 50 cm2/s are required. Other possible conventional methods are sand blasting and grinding. ROFIN extended the power range of its widely used q-switched DQ series to 1000 Watts. The new DQ 010 offers even shorter cycle times, helps ablating of new layer types and optimizes transparency and isolation. With an energy sharing set-up parallel processing of two panels is possible.