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5 April 2007


Laser technology on target for PV applications: Synova and JPSA


Water jet-guided laser technology pioneer Synova SA of Lausanne, Switzerland has established an exclusive technology licensing agreement with Manz Automation AG of Reutlingen, Germany. The license allows Manz to integrate Synova's Laser MicroJet technology into its manufacturing equipment for photovoltaics (PV) applications.

The two companies say the integration will improve the efficiency, and reduce the cost of cutting, drilling and edge isolation, of mono- and multi-crystalline solar cells.

According to the terms of the agreement, Synova will undertake the R&D for the combined toolsets, and Manz will focus on manufacturing, sales and service operations on a worldwide and PV-exclusive basis.

"Synova's unique technology, which guides a laser beam through an ultra- thin water jet, will substantially increase the efficiency of current laser processes. Moreover, completely new uses in the manufacture of crystalline solar cells will arise," said Manz's chairman of the board, Dieter Manz.

Bernold Richerzhagen, Synova’s CEO, said: "The Synova-Manz partnership provides an excellent vehicle to extend the advantages of our Laser MicroJet technology into a fast-growing market.” He added: “Our mutual collaboration combines cutting-edge laser technology with state-of- the-art manufacturing tools to deliver a new breed of efficient and cost- effective laser processing solutions to global PV producers."

Synova says it already has an installed base of tools in the PV manufacturing field, and it will continue to sell and support systems to its existing PV customers.

The Synova-Manz agreement is one of several licensing partnerships Synova is establishing to drive growth in markets such as semiconductor and PV.

See related item for details of Synova's licensing strategy:

Synova to license Laser MicroJet technology to end-users and equipment makers




Maker of industrial-grade laser systems for wafer processing and micromachining, J P Sercel Associates (JPSA) of Manchester, NH, USA has introduced a new family of industrial laser scribing systems for thin-film photovoltaic applications.

Based on the company’s ChromaDice DPSS laser platform, the new PV Series are Class 1 enclosed laser scribing systems for isolation and series interconnection of thin film solar cells. The systems use high peak power, short pulsed Diode Pumped Solid State (DPSS) laser sources to remove a range of thin films from large glass, metal or polymer substrates. Several wavelength options are available, suitable for different layer materials: 1064nm, 532nm, 355nm and 266nm.

JPSA says the new systems produce fine scribed lines with >30MOhm isolation. Applications includes:

  • P1 Front Contact: Transparent Conducting Oxides (TCO), such as ITO, IZO, SnO2, and ZnO2 can be scribed using 1064nm.
  • P2 Semiconductor: (a-Si,) Cadmium Telluride (CdTe,) and Copper Indium (gallium) diselenide (CIS or CIGS.) can be scribed using 532nm or 1064nm.
  • P3 Back Contacts: Metals such as Al, Mo or Au can be scribed using 532nm or 1064nm.
  • Border deletion: Bulk deletion of all three layers to provide an edge isolation border may be achieved using high power 1064nm lasers.

JPSA’s PV Series workstations are modular and scalable to accommodate glass sheet sizes currently up to 1300 x 1300 mm.