Production costs, module conversion efficiencies, and adoption in commercial rooftops continue to be the most critical issues for solar energy technology. The industry continuously seeks technologies that offer scalable and high speed solar device production to replace costly conventional processing steps. The present generation of large scale processes has limitations related to low speed, high cost and performance of the devices. Laser material processing technology promises to satisfy these needs for many steps along the value chain in many ways. In the 21st century, lasers could be used as an excellent tool for solar cells, such as patterning, surfaces texturing, dopant diffusion, contacts fusion, annealing, crystallization, etc.
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Stewart Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN