M3D Aerosol Jet System to be Featured in Hall 20, Stand # E-10 at the 22nd European Photovoltaic Conference in Milan, September 3rd thru 7th
Albuquerque, New Mexico August 28, 2007: Optomec announced today that they will showcase their M3D Aerosol Jet Deposition system which greatly improves Photovoltaic cell efficiencies, at the 22nd European Photovoltaic Solar Energy Conference and Exhibition. The company will be located in Hall 20, Stand #E-10 at the Fiera Milano Conference Center on September 3rd-6th. Optomec’s M3D system is a printing platform used in the development of next generation devices such as high density circuitry for photovoltaic cells, fuel cells, printable electronics, and more.
Optomec’s M3D Aerosol Jet Deposition system, used in conjunction with a Light Induced Plating process, is significantly increasing overall photovoltaic wafer efficiencies. In preproduction trials, Optomec’s M3D® Aerosol Jet® technology produced printed collector lines as small as 45 microns by using new and modified versions of screen-printing material. “Our relationship with leading material vendors has enabled us to develop breakthrough printable electronics solutions that help meet our customer’s requirements for greater photovoltaic wafer efficiencies” says Ken Vartanian, Optomec Marketing Director.
The M3D Aerosol Jet is a Direct WriteTM process that first aerosolizes conductive photovoltaic inks or pastes and then forms an aerodynamically focused droplet stream of the material. This Direct Write capability eliminates the need for screens or stencils required by traditional contact deposition processes while also enabling much finer feature sizes. “In addition to the wide variety of materials and substrates supported and the finer feature sizes, the additive process employed by M3D reduces environmental impact by minimizing the waste and chemicals that are part of more traditional manufacturing processes” says Mr. Vartanian.
Dr. Stefan Glunz, Head of the Department for the Development and Characterization of Silicon Solar Cells at Fraunhofer ISE states “an additional benefit of the M3D process is that the non-contact aerosol jet feature enables the deposition of photovoltaic materials onto extremely thin, non-planar substrates. New silicon wafer manufacturing technologies generate very thin, non-planar wafers which can be produced far less expensively than traditional, ingot based silicon wafer technology.” Dr. Glunz explains “the real challenge lies in successfully printing onto the surface of these very thin substrates. With traditional screen printing methodologies, pressure is applied to the wafer, which causes a much higher wafer breakage situation, whereas the Optomec M3D Aerosol Jet Deposition solution solves both breakage and fine line printing challenges”.
Dr. Brian Gorman, Assistant Professor and Director of the Electron and Ion Microscopy Laboratory at the University of North Texas states “Leveraging Optomec’s M3D Aerosol Jet solution, we were able to develop new, highly conductive photovoltaic material in a matter of a few months. This has enabled us to establish new baseline material for depositing highly conductive layers on photovoltaic multicrystalline wafers”. Dr. Gorman further states “Optomec’s Aerosol Jet system coupled with our newly developed precursors, conductive inks and pastes is opening up new printable electronics commercial market opportunities for both our companies”.
Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing systems for high-performance applications in the Electronics, Biomedical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec’s proprietary M3D Aerosol Jet technology and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of industry-leading manufacturers. Additional information about the company can be found at www.optomec.com.
M3D is a registered trademark of Optomec.
LENS is a registered trademark of Sandia Corporation.