CIGS scribing cluster: Assessment of new equipment & reliable laser scribing processes


Assessment of equipment and its interaction

       new wavelengths from ps-laser;

       ps-fiber laser with pulse on demand feature;

       fast polygon scanner;

       on-line scribing process monitoring tool;

Integration & assessment in the process

Final validation at end-user facilities

Approaches for thin-film CIGS solar cells on different substrates (glass, polymer, metal)


Standard monolithic integrated interconnect scheme: P1, P2 and P3 scribes have been performed between deposition steps

Key issues:

       selectivity in layer processing;

       narrow “dead” interconnection zone;

       minimised residual side effects;

       high process speed.



Texture cluster 1: Fast structuring for printing & decoration


High resolution 3D micro-structuring with ultra-short pulse lasers for embossing:

       evaluation and validation of the lasers and fast scanning polygon devices;

       integration of the fast scanning devices on an existing gravure setup;

       evaluation of process strategies and process parameters for industrial production;

       validation of equipment in development of special structures for decoration.



Texture cluster 2: Surface functionalisation


Surface engineering – to create soft-touch and anti-glare effects by functional textures on molds for automotive industry

       Assessment and optimization for 3D mold texturing method;

       Validation of combined technology by production of real automotive part with added soft-touch texture.


Leather imitation on moulded polymer surfaces of car’s interior parts




Laser Direct Writing cluster 1: 3D interconnections on plastics


Validate reliable schemes for direct writing of 3D wiring by laser radiation:

       overcome basic problems of current state of the art;

       process standard plastics instead of using highly specialized costly material;

       saving resources by adding material for laser functionalisation.

Demonstration of new capabilities in surface functionalisation by lasers for 3D wiring and flexible electronics;

Assessment of new laser beams for writing 3D / flexible electronics;

Validation of the electric interconnections made by lasers in real conditions: automotive & environmental sensing.




Laser Direct Writing cluster 2: LIFT for Photovoltaic Applications


The laser-induced forward transfer (LIFT) process is a local technique to transfer different materials. LIFT uses laser pulses to push thin disks of a ribbon material from a transparent substrate and deposit them onto an acceptor substrate.

Laser direct writing of flex electronics and photovoltaics in planar geometry will be assessed and validated:

      adding material techniques (especially LIFT):

      post-deposit firing/curing techniques using laser technology.

Particular goals are:

       demonstration of new capabilities in surface functionalisation by lasers for flexible electronics and photovoltaics;

       assessment of new laser beams (wavelength, etc.) for writing and metallization in flexible electronic including material deposition (LIFT) and laser curing/firing.

       apply to define in a single step the fingers of front contact in a photovoltaics device.








On-line monitoring tools


Development and validation of on-line monitoring tools and beam control systems which are necessary:

     process control during the assessment experiments;

     on-line tools to be assessed and integrated into laser processing systems.


On-line tools for integration into laser processing systems:

     surface profile monitoring tool with polygon scanner;

     auto-focusing unit for laser processing in 3D electronics.






    New equipment assessment experiments selected after Open call procedure:



FAST: Breakthrough solutions in laser patterning for reduced friction

Partners: Scanlab GmbH (Germany), SKF B.V. (Netherlands) and Lightmotif B.V. (Netherlands)

Fast and accurate scanning systems for micro-milling of low friction surface textures.
•    Fast gating of laser power and new scanner;
•    Improvement of an existing process for micro-milling functional surface textures using the new scanning system;
•    Production of demonstrator products and comparison to existing technologies



PONT: Breakthrough solutions in resonance NIR laser texturing of polymers

Partners: Laserspec SPRL (Belgium), OSAI Automation System SPA (Italy), it4ip SA (Belgium) and FTMC (Lithuania)

Polymer NIR Laser Resonance Texturing
•    Testing of a new genuine wavelength laser sources for polymer surface texturing;
•    Application of the new laser texturing process on bio-polymer coated implants;
•    Validation of high productivity and precision industrial process.


LADRUM: Breakthrough solutions in laser patterning of drum-moulds for large-area nano-imprinted polymer films

Partners: Scanlab AG (Germany), Nanotypos (Greece) and IOM (Germany)

Laser patterning of DRUM-moulds for large area nano-imprinted polymer foils
•    Defining of optimized hierarchical patterns suitable for efficient laser direct writing and the addressed application; defining the assessment protocols;
•    Optimization of the processing parameters and the processing methodology for the hierarchical pattern writing in a two-step strategy;
•    Synchronization of the scanner with the rotation axis for high-resolution writing;
•    Verification of the laser direct writing of hierarchical surface patterns for NIL cylinder fabrication and manufacturing of suitable structured plastic foils with laser-written cylinders.



NEW-DELI: Breakthrough solutions in fibre-based delivery system for pulsed laser beams

Partners: OPI Photonics SRL (Italy), IRIS SRL (Italy) and BUAS (Switzerland)

A new fibre-based delivery system for pulsed laser beams
•    Validation of innovative fibre-based solution for ultra-short pulse beam delivery for next Additive Manufacturing processing machines in practical use cases with relevant market impact;
•    Demonstration of the technical and economic applicability of the new equipment in industrial applications.




FastGALVO: Breakthrough solutions in ultra-fast galvoscanners for laser micromachining

Partners: Scanlab GmbH (Germany), Robert Bosch GmbH (Germany), GE Power (Switzerland) and BUAS (Switzerland)

Assessment of the newest generation of galvoscanners for laser micromachining with ultrashort pulses at high average powers.
The three applications are:
•    The generation high precision structures with small dimensions in tempered steel and silicon. The sample applications are microstructures in the nozzles for spray forming and the machining of silicon for MEMS applications.
•    The re-opening of blocked cooling holes in turbine blades.
•    The high-speed generation of large-area hydrophobic surface textures on steel, metal films and ceramics.



DECOUL-Cr: Breakthrough solutions in ultrafast laser equipment for decorative finishing in automotive chrome plated parts

Partners: Lasing (Spain), MAIER Scoop (Spain) and UPM (Spain)

New Ultrafast Laser equipment for DECOrative finishing in automotive Chrome plated parts
Development of a new technology for Industrial fine marking solutions for the automotive sector.
•    Identifying all the possible variables accessible in the laser marking process.
•    Comparing results with currently used nanosecond laser marking.
•    Developing of conceptual Industrial machine based on the previous results.



SUN-JELL: Breakthrough solutions in laser marking for jewellery

Partners: SISMA SPA (Italy), LAC SPA (Italy) and FTMC (Lithuania)

Assessment of a novel sub-ns laser system for jewellery and luxury fine marking and engraving applications
•    Preparation of the equipment and process assessment procedures;
•    Validation of the new laser source for Jewellery application;
•    Integration of the new laser source in material processing system;
•    Validation of laser system functionality for the end-user processes.


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