Trumpf’s short and ultra-short pulsed lasers for high-precision thin-film applications

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Product Briefing Outline: Trumpf is offering user-oriented microprocessing lasers from the TruMicro Series 3000, 5000 and 7000 for an increasing number of applications for thin-film processes, including CIGS patterning steps.

Problem: Conventional thin-film cell and module construction procedures are increasingly being displaced by lasers as they offer higher precision and repeatability while enabling higher throughput. Although lasers have had vast success in production facilities of the PV industry, only a fraction of the potential offered by lasers has been utilized so far.

Solution: Infrared lasers are generally used for the ablation of TCO films. For this application, the TruMicro Series 3000 offers a range of small, compact units with wavelengths of 1064nm and 532nm, ideal for P1, P2 and P3 patterning. With high pulse-to-pulse stability, the diode-pumped solid-state lasers can also be easily integrated into existing systems because of their advanced cooling design. Patterning of thin-film cells made of Cu(In,Ga)(S,Se)2 presents a particularly high challenge for the laser process—and structuring of molybdenum in particular. For this application, nanosecond lasers are still used. However, picosecond lasers’ ultrashort pulses can ablate material without significant heating of the marginal zone of the process, thus preventing cracking, melting, or exfoliation of the layers. The Series 5000 offers a range of appropriate picosecond lasers for this purpose. Microprocessing lasers produce pulses with a length of 30 nanoseconds with 80 millijoule pulse energy. The Series 7050 with its short pulses and high pulse energy enables users to ablate the layer system neatly and highly efficiently without damaging the glass.

Applications: Wide range of thin-film processing steps.

Platform: TruMicro series 3000, 5000, and 7000 lasers have average outputs between 8 and 750W with pulse durations from the pico- to the microsecond range.

Availability: Currently available.

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