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Optimizing process time of laser drilling processes in solar cell manufacturing by coaxial camera control

: Jetter, Volker; Gutscher, Simon; Blug, Andreas; Knorz, Annerose; Ahrbeck, Christopher; Nekarda, Jan; Carl, Daniel


Nakata, Y. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Laser Applications in Microelectronic and Optoelectronic Manufacturing, LAMOM XIX : February 2014, San Francisco, California, United States
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2014 (SPIE Proceedings 8967)
ISBN: 978-0-8194-9880-9
Paper 896715
Conference "Laser Applications in Microelectronic and Optoelectronic Manufacturing" (LAMOM) <19, 2014, San Francisco/Calif.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IPM ()
Fraunhofer ISE ()
laser drilling; solar cells; quality control; real-time image processing; cellular neural networks; CNN

In emitter wrap through (EWT) solar cells, laser drilling is used to increase the light sensitive area by removing emitter contacts from the front side of the cell. For a cell area of 156 x 156 mm2, about 24000 via-holes with a diameter of 60 μm have to be drilled into silicon wafers with a thickness of 200 μm. The processing time of 10 to 20 s is determined by the number of laser pulses required for safely opening every hole on the bottom side. Therefore, the largest wafer thickness occurring in a production line defines the processing time. However, wafer thickness varies by roughly ±20 %. To reduce the processing time, a coaxial camera control system was integrated into the laser scanner. It observes the bottom breakthrough from the front side of the wafer by measuring the process emissions of every single laser pulse. To achieve the frame rates and latency times required by the repetition rate of the laser (10 kHz), a camera based on cellular neural networks (CNN) was used where the images are processed directly on the camera chip by 176 x 144 sensor processor elements. One image per laser pulse is processed within 36 μs corresponding to a maximum pulse rate of 25 kHz. The laser is stopped when all of the holes are open on the bottom side. The result is a quality control system in which the processing time of a production line is defined by average instead of maximum wafer thickness.