TRUMPF’s TruMicro Series ultra-short pulse lasers offer improved thin-film edge ablation

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email

TRUMPF’s TruMicro Series of ultra-short pulse lasers are claimed to be lowering the manufacturing cost of photovoltaic cells as well as enhancing their performance. The small and compact TRUMPF TruMicro Series 3000 with wavelengths of 1064 and 532 nanometres are designed for P1, P2 and P3 patterning. Thanks to their high pulse-to-pulse stability, these diode-pumped solid-state lasers achieve very good processing results. They can also be easily integrated into existing systems because of their advanced cooling design.


The patterning of thin-film cells made from Cu (In, Ga) (S,Se)2, or CI(G)S, presents a particularly high challenge for the laser process.  The same applies to the structuring of molybdenum. For this application, nanosecond lasers are still used but picosecond lasers are claimed to offer a far better solution. Maximising cell efficiency is the result of extremely precise and fine surface structuring and these lasers do this far better and more cost effectively than alternative processes. To protect thin-film solar modules against unfavourable environmental influences – especially against moisture – a width of approximately 10mm of the layer system is ablated along the edge and covered with laminated film. The traditional method employed is sandblasting but TRUMPF TruMicro lasers are claimed to provide a far more suitable process.


In the production of solar modules from amorphous silicon (aSi) or cadmium telluride (CdTe), conductive and photoactive films are deposited on large substrate areas, such as glass.  After every deposition, the laser subdivides the surface so that the cells created are automatically switched in series by the process sequence. In this way cell and module tensions, depending on the cell width, can be set. With these lasers, the material is ablated with ultra-short pulses without significant heating of the process edge zone. This prevents cracking, melting and exfoliation of the layers. TRUMPF Series 5000 picosecond lasers are ideal for this task. They have a wavelength of 1030nm for structuring molybdenum and 515nm for processing photoactive material and patterning the front of the contact. The transparent conductive oxides are usually processed with lasers in the infrared wavelength. At typical feed rates, repetition rates of over 100kHz result. An optimised pulse-to-pulse overlap makes for a clean kerf and minimises negative heat effects. The TruMicro 7050 is recommended for edge deletion applications which can process large areas at production speed, reliably and securely. It generates pulses with 30 nanoseconds duration at an average power of 750W.


P1, P2 and P3 patterning as well as edge deletion and other process steps.


TRUMPF TruMicro picosecond lasers have output power up to 50W, which significantly reduces process costs. The simple scalability of the laser output enables a higher production capacity to be achieved. The high beam quality in the ultra-short pulses significantly improves solar cells efficiency. This will result in a significant reduction of the ‘per Watt’ cost of solar cell performance in the future.


Currently available.

1 December 2021
Join this virtual conference on 1-2 December 2021 for expert presentations covering PV Module Technology, Supply & Site Optimisation for Utility-Scale. Delegates can access streamed presentations, session recordings and chat/messaging tools to connect with fellow delegates and speakers. Speakers include leading developers, manufacturers, testing and research institutes, including: NREL, Silicon Ranch, Sonnedix, Heliene, Powertis, LONGi Solar, JinkoSolar, PVEL, Risen Energy, Seraphim, STS, Trina Solar, Eternalsun Spire, QEERI, Fraunhofer, Estuary Capital Partners and VDE
2 December 2021
Intersolar is the world’s leading exhibition & conference series for the solar industry. As part of this event series, Intersolar India in Mumbai is India’s most pioneering exhibition and conference for India’s solar industry. It takes place annually and has a focus on the areas of photovoltaics, PV production and solar thermal technologies. Since 2019, Intersolar India is held under the umbrella of The smarter E India – India’s innovation hub for the new energy world.
9 December 2021
The Smart Energy Council is hosting Australia’s second Virtual Smart Energy Conference and Exhibition on Thursday, 9 December 2021. This event will show that the industry powers on despite COVID-19 and we are standing together undeterred in spirit. Bringing our global community together using the latest technology.
13 January 2022
Intersolar North America and Energy Storage North America “Come Together” for the first time in Long Beach, CA—connecting installers, developers, utilities, technology providers, policy makers, and key stakeholders from around the world to advance the clean energy future. With best-in-class conference programming, integrated exhibits and pavilions, and the live Solar Games installer competition, #isnaesna21 will showcase the industry trends, innovative solutions, and emerging talent transforming the solar, energy storage, and e-mobility markets. Register today to redeem our exclusive offer for PV Tech readers—free expo hall or 20% off full conference pass.
1 February 2022
As Solar Finance & Investment enters its ninth year, we sit on the cusp of a new power market with solar at its heart. The 2022 edition of the event will build on our years of expertise and relationships to bring investors and lenders together with top developers. Connect with leaders in the field and use exclusive insights to drive investment and development decisions for the future. Meet new and existing project partners at the largest gathering of European solar investors and lenders.
23 February 2022
Held annually since 2016, the Energy Storage Summit Europe is the place to be for senior stakeholders in the European storage industry. Designed to accelerate deployment of storage, we examine evolving chemistries, business models, project design, revenue stacks and use cases for storage. The 2022 edition will include exclusive content around longer duration solutions, energy strategies for wide-scale deployment of EVs and "EnTech", the event which sits at the intersection of digitisation, decentralisation and decarbonation of the power system. Come to meet TSOs, DSOs, Utilities, Developers, Investors and Lenders and leave with new contacts, partners and a wealth of information.

Read Next

November 26, 2021
Renewables developer and asset owner Grasshopper Energy has signed an agreement that could support the development of up to 1GW of solar in Romania by 2030.
November 26, 2021
Portugal has launched its latest solar auction that is set to allocate 262MW of floating PV to be installed at seven dams across the country.
November 26, 2021
The European Commission (EC) has approved a €2.27 billion (US$2.56 billion) Greek scheme to support 4.2GW of installed renewables capacity after assessing it in the context of EU state aid rules
PV Tech Premium
November 26, 2021
Average market prices for 182mm solar wafers fell by nearly 7% this week, falling to levels not seen in almost two months, however other material and component costs have remained high.
PV Tech Premium
November 26, 2021
Faced with the threat of curtailment as more renewables enter the grid, utility-scale solar developers are heightening their focus on hybrid PV-storage projects to take advantage of demand for flexibility services and falling battery costs.
November 25, 2021
Assurance and risk management provider DNV is acquiring cyber security firm Applied Risk as it looks to build a security practice focused on defending industrial assets against emergent cyber threats.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
December 1, 2021
Solar Media Events
February 1, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal