The current expansion in production of photovoltaic cells has led to huge pressure for cost reductions. Fiber lasers and diode pumped solid state lasers are currently used for many of the precision ablation tasks required on both silicon and thin film based PV devices. The photovoltaic industry has recently accelerated evaluation and process development leveraging the many benefits of fiber lasers and as production volumes scale up, the use of fiber lasers looks set to increase their share of the market. A brief review of these lasers and their benefits to the PV scribing processes is presented along with examples. The results and analyses presented contradict conventional thinking by demonstrating numerous laser-material interactions at near-infrared wavelengths previously thought to require more expensive visible wavelength laser solutions.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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