Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
LE11 3TU
+44 (0)1509 222222
Loughborough University

Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST)

PV Materials & Devices

One Step Interconnect for thin film PV devices

In a collaborative research programme CREST has researched making the processing of thin film Photovoltaic (PV) modules simpler and more efficient.

Thin film PV devices are manufactured in the form of a large single cell on a glass sheet which acts as a substrate or superstrate. Smaller, individual, cells are then defined by mechanical or laser scribing with the electrical connection being made by metal deposition. This process is called monolithic interconnection and consists of 3 scribes P1, P2 and P3 with alternate deposition processing. Since it requires constant movement of modules from vacuum deposition layer to atmospheric laser processing this causes interruption to the cell deposition process and production inefficiency as well as requiring a high accuracy for scribe alignment.

In a new “One Step Interconnect” or ‘OSI’ process the entire interconnection process is performed after the completion of the solar cell deposition. Since the OSI process performs the laser ablation and inkjet deposition almost simultaneously a perfect registration and high throughput is achieved.

The OSI Process