Solidification of Silicon for Solar Cells
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- Arnberg, L., Sabatino, M.D. & Øvrelid, E. Trans Indian Inst Met (2012) 65: 509. doi:10.1007/s12666-012-0165-2
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Silicon is the dominating material in solar cells. Monocrystalline and multicrystalline cells have approximately equal market shares and are produced from wafers, cut from single crystals produced by Czochralski (CZ) pulling or from polycrystalline ingots made by directional solidification, respectively. The present paper reviews how demands for lower cost, better yield, higher efficiency and use of less pure silicon in solar cells are addressed by advanced solidification processing. In monocrystalline solar silicon, careful growth control results in less point defects, and better efficiency. Continuous- or semi-continuous CZ growth processes are being developed for better productivity and lower cost. In multicrystalline solar silicon, extended defects such as dislocations and grain boundaries decrease efficiency, particularly in combination with new, less expensive, but more contaminated silicon feedstock. This problem is addressed by control of nucleation and growth of ingots with larger grains, preferred grain orientation and lower dislocation density.