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Posted in | Nanoenergy | Nanofabrication

Company to Unveil Aerosol Jet-Integrated Print Station for Front Side Cell Metallization

Published on August 20, 2008 at 11:33 AM

Optomec announced today that they will showcase their patented Aerosol Jet® Print technology for higher efficiency solar cells, at the 23rd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition in Valencia, Spain on September 1st-4th. Optomec will be available to discuss the Aerosol Jet platform in their Stand, # 3B/6a. In addition, Manz Automation, Optomec’s strategic wafer automation partner for the PV market, has completed the integration of Optomec’s patented Aerosol Jet-Solar Print Engine into their back end manufacturing line. The integrated Manz/Aerosol Jet Print Station will be unveiled at PVSEC in the Manz Stand # 2A/27.

During the conference, Dr. Bruce King, who heads Optomec's photovoltaics solution development efforts, will be presenting further information in the Visual Presentation area, on “Progress Toward Production: Aerosol Jet Printing for Non-Contact Solar Cell Metallization.” Dr. King’s presentation will explain how Optomec’s Aerosol Jet deposition process is able to print much finer lines than is currently possible with traditional screen-printing methods. These narrower, high integrity collector lines have higher conductivity and a lower shadowing effect, thereby increasing photovoltaic cell efficiency. In addition, because the process is non-contact, Optomec’s Aerosol Jet process can print on thinner wafers and with less breakage than screen printing techniques. In a study conducted by Fraunhofer ISE, absolute efficiency gains of .7% were achieved using the Aerosol Jet printing in conjunction with a plating process.

Manz CEO Dieter Manz is very enthusiastic about the integration: “The Optomec technology integrated into the Manz back end line will allow the solar cell manufacturers to make a big step in the improvement of cell efficiency, to further reduce the breakage and to ultimately use thinner wafers. This will help our customer to drive down the overall cost of PV rapidly.”

Dave Ramahi, President and CEO of Optomec, states, “The response to our introduction of Aerosol Jet printing technology at the PVSEC event last year has been overwhelming. Our Solar customer base has grown by more than 200% to include leading solar cell manufacturers, materials suppliers and industrial labs. There's a keen interest in the market to adopt Aerosol Jet as a near-term replacement for screen printing, and in the medium term as an enabling technology for next generation cell architectures. We are likewise very pleased that in just four short months since the announcement of our partnership, the Manz/Optomec engineering teams have completed the integration of the Aerosol Jet-Solar Print Engine with the Manz wafer automation system. The road ahead is exciting as we deliver this new capability for production trials before year-end.”

Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing systems for high-performance applications in the Electronics, Photovoltaic, Biomedical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec’s proprietary M3D Aerosol Jet technology and LENS® powder-metal fabrication technology. Optomec’s Aerosol Jet platform recently won the IDTechEx award for best printed electronics manufacturing technology. The company has a global customer base of more than 60 users that includes many industry-leading manufacturers.

M3D, Aerosol Jet, and Optomec are registered trademarks of Optomec, Inc.

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