Energy and Environment

KPN – Impurity control in high performance multicrystalline silicon

The main goal of the project is to develop knowledge about impurity transport processes and impurity-defect interaction in the production of high performance silicon solar cells.

Søndenå, Rune

Senior Scientist


Recent improvements in crystallization technology have shown that it is possible to produce silicon wafers with particularly low defect density in an industrial manner. This material called high performance multicrystalline silicon (HPMC-Si) show considerably less formation and growth of the detrimental dislocation clusters than in conventional multicrystalline wafers. In this project it is assumed that further improvements most likely can be achieved by improving the contamination control of foreign impurities together with an increased understanding of their transport properties and interactions with crystal defects.

The final aim of the project is to provide specifications for the main components in the crystal growth process, i.e. feedstock materials, crucibles and coating, as well as recommending best practices routines for the process steps.

This is a EnergiX project co-funded by the Norwegian Research Council (NFR) and Norwegian/semi-Norwegian industry partners covering much of the value chain involved is solar cell production; REC Silicon is a feedstock producer, Steuler Solar and The Quartz Corporation develop and produce crucibles and crucible materials, and REC Solar performs crystallization and solar cell production. SINTEF, NTNU and IFE contribute as research partners. The competence of the Norwegian research partners will be complemented by collaboration with NTU of Taiwan and MIT of USA.

The project runs from 2013 to 2017. It will include 1 PhD student and several topics will be relevant for master students.

2014-11-24 Rune Søndenå

Solcelle HPMC-Si