April 3, 2007 – Manz Automation AG, a laser process technology component supplier, and Synova SA, a privately held Swiss developer of water jet-guided laser technology, will integrate their technologies into manufacturing equipment for photovoltaics applications through a new technology licensing agreement.
The combined system will be used to improve efficiency and reduce cost of cutting, drilling, and edge isolation of mono- and multicrystalline solar cells, the firms say. Synova will head up R&D efforts for the combined toolsets, with Manz driving manufacturing, sales, and service operations.
“Synova’s unique technology, which guides a laser beam through an ultrathin water jet, will substantially increase the efficiency of current laser processes,” said Manz chairman Dieter Manz, adding that the companies project “completely new uses in the manufacture of crystalline solar cells will arise.”
For Synova, the deal expands markets for its flagship “laser microjet” technology, which replaces traditional cutting technologies such as conventional lasers and diamond blade saws, for applications in inkjet print head MEMS, HDDs, and OLEDs. The company already has licensing deals in other markets including medical instrumentation and automotive devices.
“Given Laser MicroJet’s superb price/performance record in the semiconductor industry, our solution is a natural choice for deployment in the cost-sensitive PV manufacturing space,” stated Synova CEO Bernold Richerzhagen.