Lasers can make cheaper, better solar cells

May 30th, 2009 - 2:41 pm ICT by IANS  

London, May 30 (IANS) Using lasers to make solar photovoltaic cells that produce electricity from sunshine makes these cells cheaper and better, researchers say.
Arnold Gillner, microtechnology head at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology in Germany, said: “Lasers work quickly, precisely, and without contact. In other words, they are an ideal tool for manufacturing fragile solar cells. In fact, lasers are already being used in production today, but there is still considerable room for process optimisation.”

Fraunhofer researchers are creating lasers to drill holes into silicon cells at dizzying speed, to boost solar cells’ energy output. The tiny holes in the wafer, just 50 micrometres across, open up undreamt-of possibilities for these cells, according to a statement from the institute.

These findings will be presented at the Laser 2009 conference in Munich June 15-18.

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