Coherent’s picosecond laser for thin-film solar cell manufacture

Coherent has introduced its new HyperRapid NXT industrial picosecond laser, operating at 532 nm with 100 W average power, that enables ultraprecision manufacturing of thin-film solar cells.

Second-generation solar cells, which promise to achieve a leap in energy efficiency, are mostly based on thin-film materials such as perovskite or new technologies such as interdigitated back contact panels. These new solar cell technologies are driving the demand for ultraprecision scribing and grooving tools that produce both electric contacts within the cells and isolation between them, with very high throughput and in a manner that is consistent, reliable, and cost-effective. Coherent is introducing a new picosecond industrial green laser based on the field-proven HyperRapid NXT platform, with 100 µJ of output pulsed energy and high beam quality. This new laser enables manufacturers of second-generation solar panels to meet their production ramp while maintaining high quality and low cost.

“We really look forward to taking a giant step in this new, exciting, and rapidly growing laser market for processing thin-film solar cells,” said Dr. Torsten Rauch, Senior Vice President, Solid-State Lasers Europe Business Unit. “Our new high-power 532 nm HyperRapid NXT laser answers the market demand for higher process quality and throughput compared to what can be achieved with existing nanosecond lasers or lower-power ultrashort-pulse lasers. Our green lasers produce significantly smoother and cleaner scribes with minimal heat-affected zones. What’s more, the lasers are built on the same HyperRapid NXT platform that has demonstrated many times over its dependability, with its field-proven record of nonstop operation in high-volume manufacturing environments.”

The new HyperRapid NXT leverages Coherent’s highly differentiated optics and crystals that are manufactured in-house. The new laser includes all the standard functionality of the HyperRapid NXT platform, including stable power modulation, pulse on demand, and variable repetition rate. Lasers are available with wavelengths ranging from the ultraviolet to the near-infrared, including 266 nm, 355 nm, and 1064 nm. The new 532 nm laser will be generally available in the calendar Q3 2024.

Other applications for this laser include structuring of battery foils and dicing of silicon wafers.

Coherent supports its customers through customised service agreements that are backed by a global service network staffed with factory-trained service engineers. Through Coherent Labs, Coherent collaborates with its customers to anticipate and solve their most difficult manufacturing challenges.

Contact: Michael Batchelor