Sept. 10, 2008--Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA) has unveiled its SolaryX 420 laser scribing system for thin-film photovoltaic process-development applications. The SolaryX 420 tool is a flexible, semi-automated laser system designed for scribing the interconnect patterns of thin-film-on-glass solar panels. It is well-suited for process optimization in pilot lines prior to full-scale thin-film solar-panel production and also for research and development of higher-efficiency cell architectures.
The SolaryX 420 laser scribing system is designed to accept 420-mm-square glass substrates. The system accommodates up to two lasers and can be configured with either 1064 nm infrared lasers, 532 nm green lasers, or one of each. It can be used to scribe most thin-film photovoltaic materials.
Newport's portfolio of photovoltaic manufacturing and test equipment includes lasers, light sources, advanced motion control systems, optics, and test and measurement technologies. According to Larry Parson, vice president of Newport's Integrated Solutions Business, the SolaryX 420 system is the first in a new series of automated solar-cell manufacturing tools that Newport will be unveiling this year.
"The SolaryX 420 tool is a flexible integrated tool that is easily optimized for a customer's application," said Parson. "For example, a dual-wavelength version may be attractive for customers who need a single machine to experiment with processing all three film layers at various speeds, laser wavelengths and repetition rates. At the same time, it can create devices with the fewest possible dead zones for evaluation purposes. For customers who want higher throughput, the SolaryX 420 system can be configured with two identical laser sources that can process a single panel in parallel, reducing human interaction and cycle time. We also offer a lower-cost, single-laser-source version."
In addition to creating precise scribe lines in thin film materials, SolaryX 420 systems can also support laser edge isolation, a process that uses a laser to remove the thin film material from a zone around the full perimeter of the thin film panel. The width of the isolation zone can be configured by the user and is made by selecting the desired number of adjacent passes.