Lasers Services to the Solar Market.

Green, Clean and Renewable

Today, solar power is thought to be the cleanest, most reliable and plentiful energy resource available; however, because of the historical high cost of manufacturing, its potential has not yet reached fruition. Advances in manufacturing technology, driven by a greater global imperative for renewable energy sources, are boosting production efficiencies and bringing down the costs of solar cell manufacturing. Laser-based processes are in the forefront of this manufacturing revolution.

Solar cells are generally built in a process facility, on a turnkey line, where high throughput, minimum handling and lowest cost are critical. In laser-based manufacturing, typically every process requires its own dedicated laser designed to perform that specific process. That often has required different machines or lasers to be implemented on the line. Advanced, tailored-pulse laser technology has emerged that enables the performance specifications of a laser to be tailored very precisely to the requirements of each and every process. Optimized for the turnkey line, it is now possible to deploy the same laser for every process.

ESI's unique PyroFlex™ laser-based platform delivers the most state-of-the-art solution to meet modern manufacturing needs for solar cells. To date, the PyroFlex™ platform has enabled many different solar applications, including EWT via drilling, laser-fired contacts, laser doping for selective emitter, edge isolation and thin-film scribing. The flexibility of the PyroFlex™ platform has also successfully enabled P2 and P3 scribes on copper indium gallium diselenide (CIGS), a promising thin-film solar cell technology. In collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), ESI has produced the world's first all-laser scribed CIGS module, where four separate laser-based processes are performed using the same PyroFlex™ laser.

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