This invention relates to a method for creating thin, crystalline or polycrystalline layers of a material such as silicon, and more particularly to such a method that requires neither high temperature furnace cycles nor wire-sawing methods.
The invention can be used in photovoltaic devices such as single or dual omojunction devices, tunable voltage devices, and wafer splitting, among others.
Wire-sawn wafers are limited in thickness because of breakage and mechanical stability. Additionally, during the slicing process, a large fraction of material is lost as waste.
This invention describes a method to create thin, crystalline Si (tc-Si) layers, many of which can be grown and separated from the same crystalline silicon (c-Si) template.
- Rapid production of tc-Si layers that do not require sawing wafers individually from a c-Si boule
- Enables thinner layer thicknesses than wire-sawing methods
- Cheap, quick, and lower energy consumption
- Significantly reduces kerf loss and silicon cost in modules
- Easy to form production line around the process, and template is re-used
- Enables more diverse array of silicon feedstock as well as more control over doping
- Easily fits into existing cell and module supply chain