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High throughput surface structuring in solar cell manufacture

: Weck, M.; Leifhelm, B.

American Society for Precision Engineering -ASPE-:
American Society of Precision Engineering. 16th Annual meeting 2001. Proceedings
Raleigh, NC: ASPE, 2001
ISBN: 1-88770-627-5
American Society for Precision Engineering (Annual Meeting) <16, 2001, Crystal City/Va.>
Fraunhofer IPT ()
silicon wafer; solar cell; structuring; grinding; throughput; machine; tool

Sun light, the "renewable energy" source, and photovoltaics are attracting more and more interest, which in turn produces cost pressure for more efficient solar panel production due to the competitive situation. Solar cells structured with V-shaped grooves show a significant improvement in efficiency thanks to better light collection. But the costs of the additional operation for structuring have to be minimised, so high-throughput machining is essential. At the same time, the dimensions of the structure require high-precision machining of silicon wafers.
In colaboration with solar cell manufacturers and process designers a structuring system was built up, which meets the requirements for a brittle material such as silicon. The structuring process is carried out by grinding with profiling tools, for accurate and high-speed generation of the desired surface topology. The machine is designed for production-line operation. The process, which was until now in the experimental stage, is automated and provides a high level of reliability due to process monitoring.