Optomec announced today that Fraunhofer
IKTS (Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems) has selected the Aerosol
Jet Solar Lab system to be part of their Energy Systems Department. The Aerosol
Jet system, which will be installed at the IKTS facility in Dresden, Germany,
will be primarily used to develop front side collector line printing solutions
to increase solar cell efficiencies. IKTS conducts development work within the
framework of R+D projects with its industrial customers spanning the entire
value chain, extending through to prototype production. Professor and Fraunhofer
IKTS Director, Dr. Alexander Michaels, explains, “Photovoltaics is one
of the hottest R+D fields in our institute. We specialize in materials and
tool development for PV back end-of-line processes and collaborate with leading
PV companies. For example, with Roth + Rau AG, a world-leading PV equipment
supplier, we operate a real 10 MW R+D production line. We are convinced
that Aerosol Jet printing is one of the most promising technologies for future
PV wafer processing and we are happy to work with Optomec on this issue.”
Optomec will showcase the Aerosol Jet system at the 24th European Photovoltaic
and Solar Energy Conference in Hamburg, Germany on September 21-24. Optomec
will be located in stand # B5-12.
Fraunhofer IKTS covers the complete field of advanced ceramics, from basic
research to advanced manufacturing applications. IKTS services include the development
and application of modern advanced ceramic materials, the development of industrial
powder metallurgical technologies, and the manufacturing of prototypical components.
Structural ceramics, functional ceramics and cermets set up the priorities with
emphasis on innovative complex systems which are applied in many industry sectors.
The institute has a permanent staff of about 218 and currently collaborates
with more than 250 national and international partners.
The Aerosol Jet system is ideally suited to be part of the IKTS facility because
it has been proven to increase the efficiencies of silicon solar cells by producing
narrower, higher integrity collector lines with reduced shadowing effects. The
Aerosol Jet technology enables fine feature, non-contact printing of advanced
photovoltaic materials onto non-planar surfaces without the need for masks or
resists. Because of the non-contact nature of Aerosol Jet technology, the system
can print on thinner silicon wafers, providing a higher manufacturing yield
compared to wafer breakage caused by contact screen printing. In addition to
functional gains, Aerosol Jet is also projected to dramatically reduce the overall
Cost of Ownership versus screen printing. For volume production applications,
Optomec has developed a high throughput 40-nozzle Aerosol Jet deposition head
that prints a solar cell every 2.5 to 3 seconds. Additionally, the non-contact
nature of the Aerosol Jet system enables high yield printing on thinner photovoltaic
wafers. For more information on Aerosol Jet printing for solar applications,
Dave Ramahi, Optomec President/CEO, states that “Fraunhofer IKTS is an
established materials research leader that is uniquely qualified to deliver
front side metallization printing solutions. Optomec is extremely pleased that
Fraunhofer IKTS selected the Aerosol Jet deposition system to develop new non-contact
processes for next generation high efficiency solar cells.”
Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing systems for
high-performance applications in the Photovoltaic, Electronics, Biomedical,
and Aerospace + Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec’s proprietary
Aerosol Jet and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a
global customer base of industry-leading manufacturers.
Aerosol Jet is a registered trademark of Optomec, Inc.
LENS is a registered trademark of Sandia National Laboratories.