1,200wph solar-cell metallization platform from DEK

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Product Briefing Outline: DEK has introduced the PVP1200 screen printer capable of 1,200 wafers-per-hour (WPH) throughput and offering advanced automated features for high speed and repeatability. The PVP1200 is built using expertise gained from DEK’s established high-accuracy screen printing platforms, proven in surface-mount assembly and chip-scale semiconductor packaging.

Problem: Global demand for solar cell products means that manufacturers need high-productivity solutions delivered on a short turnaround basis. Six-sigma repeatability at ±12.5 micron resolution of the PVP1200 demonstrates its capability in advance of current requirements for solar cell front-side and back-side metallization. DEK also claims that it can deliver the PVP1200 within shorter lead-times than the current industry norm, taking advantage of shared-platform technology and high modularity to quickly configure new machines to meet custom specifications.

Solution: Specially optimised for solar cell metallisation, the PVP1200 is compatible with wafer sizes up to 125mm x 125mm or 156mm x 156mm in Square or Pseudo Square formats. The handling and support mechanisms are suitable for wafer thicknesses from 1mm down to 120 micron, which allows all stock wafer gauges to be used including the latest ultra-thin and lightweight wafers. For maximum accuracy and repeatability when depositing features ranging from sub-100-micron current collectors to low-resistivity bus bars, the PVP1200 printer is directly compatible with emulsion screens designed and produced in-house by DEK’s screen manufacturing facility. Special features of the PVP1200 for solar cell applications include dedicated handling for thin wafers, ensuring low breakage rates for maximum yield, as well as high-speed machine vision capabilities. These allow non-contact alignment referenced to all four edges of the substrate. Standardised machine interfaces also enable easy integration with inline equipment such as an upstream loader and downstream inspection station.

Applications: Standard wafer sizes for front-side and back-side metallization

Platform: The PVP1200 is easy to set-up and use, with menu-driven software enabling intuitive control of complex processes via a full-colour TFT-LCD touchscreen. Other management and communication facilities include on-board Statistical Process Control (SPC) software, integrated 10/100 LAN connectivity and a USB 2.0 interface.

Availability: June 2008 onwards.

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