Novel Low Cost Processes for Production of Crystalline Silicon Wafers for Photovoltaic Industry

Period of Performance: 01/01/2005 - 12/31/2005


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

GT Equipment Technologies, Inc.
243 Daniel Webster Highway
Merrimack, NH 03054
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


78925B ¿Clean energy¿ is attracting more and more interest, which in turn exerts cost pressure on photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers for more efficient solar panel production. This project will develop a cost-effective technology to produce PV-grade silicon wafers. In particular, a reuseable crucible will be developed for the production of high purity, low oxygen content crystalline silicon ingots. The approach will be based on a therma-expansion-coefficient-matched graphite crucible and a high purity, multilayered release coating. Phase I will utilize the reusable crucible to design a rapid single-crystal growth technique for photocoltaic grade silicon. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: The technology should produce crystalline silicon with less oxygen and residual impurity, low dislocation density, and uniform electrical and mechanical properties, leading to increased overall cell efficiency at low cost.