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Direct Etching - Targeting Commercial Photovoltaic Applications

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A method for spatially-selective etching of dielectric layers without the use of a mask has been developed at the University of New South Wales (UNSW). This ‘direct etching’ method, which was first implemented using inkjet printing, is now being further developed using Optomec's Aerosol Jet Printer (AJP), in order to achieve the patterning resolution and processing throughput required for commercial photovoltaic applications. Results presented in this paper show that the use of the AJP enables etched grooves as narrow as 15-20 μm. Grooves can be etched in ∼ 75 nm layers of SiO2, SiN x , SiON x and PECVD Al2O3 dielectric layers. Furthermore, the etching process can be tailored to different applications by varying processing parameters, such as the gas flow rates, platen movement speed and number of printing passes. Finally, the accurate alignment enabled by the AJP allows etched patterns to be formed in pre-patterned surfaces, a property that may find application in a number of selective-emitter solar cell designs which use aligned screen printing for metallization.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-01-01

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  • For more than 30 years, IS&T's series of digital printing conferences have been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in 2D and 3D printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference that brings together industry and academia, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems?particularly those involved with additive manufacturing and fabrication?including bio-printing, printed electronics, page-wide, drop-on-demand, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based systems, and production digital printing, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields. In 2016, the conference changed its name formally to Printing for Fabrication to better reflect the content of the meeting and the evolving technology of printing.

    Please note: For purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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