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Evaluation of improvement strategies of grain structure properties in high performance multi-crystalline silicon ingots

: Trempa, M.; Kranert, C.; Kupka, I.; Reimann, C.; Friedrich, J.


Journal of Crystal Growth 514 (2019), S.114-123
ISSN: 0022-0248
Bundesministerium fur Wirtschaft und Energie BMWi (Deutschland)
Fraunhofer IISB ()

High performance multi-crystalline silicon (HPM-Si) for the use in photovoltaics is characterized by a very fine grain structure and a high content of random grain boundaries, finally resulting in a low dislocation density and consequently in a high material quality. Typically, the grain size increases and the fraction of random grain boundaries decreases over ingot height due to annihilation mechanisms, especially in the first 150 mm. One approach for further material improvement is to further increase the initial random grain boundary fraction and to maintain it as high as possible over the complete ingot height. In this work, several theoretical approaches to achieve these points were evaluated by experiments in G1 scale. Firstly, the influence of the silicon seeding material on the initial grain structure was investigated regarding the effect of extremely fine Si particles in the µm to nm range and the bulk density of the particle layer. Secondly, the effect of the initial geometrical grain boundary arrangement in the seed layer was evaluated. For that purpose, special seed alignments similar to the Quasimono approach were tested. Finally, the process parameter growth rate was varied in a wide range to investigate its influence on the evolution of the grain boundaries during growth. The results show that the optimum for the initial random grain boundary fraction is already reached by the existing methods/commonly used seed materials. Concerning the decrease of the random grain boundary fraction over ingot height, some technical aspects were identified which are able to keep the amount of random grain boundaries at a high level. However, the practical realization within an industrial setup might be difficult.