Energy and Environment

Laboratory for silicon production

The laboratory for silicon production at IFE works with production of polysilicon and advanced silicon-based materials for solar cells, electronics, batteries and pharmaceutics. IFE has over many years been expanding this laboratory and silicon materials is one of the strategic focus areas of the Institute. The possibilities offered make up a unique package for research projects and pilot projects within silicon production and silane based processing technology.

Klette, Hallgeir

Senior Engineer


IFE wants to attract Norwegian and international industrial partners to make use of the lab for testing out new technology that make use of silane gas in processing and production of polysilicon and other silicon materials. Silane is a relatively difficult gas to work with because of its flammability and explosion risk, and thus there is a strong focus on safety in the laboratory. All testing of new reactor technology is operated from a safe control room and the laboratory hall is monitored continuously with cameras, gas detectors and flame detectors to react instantly in case of a leak or an emergency. The facilities at IFE are suitable for small research reactors and up to semi-industrial pilot production equipment.

The laboratory has:

  • Test rigs for new reactors for decomposition of silane gas (Siemens, FBR, other technologies)
  • Free space reactor for production of silicon and composite particles from silane
  • Fluid bed reactor (FBR) for production of polysilicon from silane gas
  • Gas infrastructure for distribution of different gases (silane, phosphine, nitrogen, argon, hydrogen, etc.)
  • Scrubber plant for removal of toxic and hazardous gas and particles in the exhaust gas
  • Gas analysis equipment with mass spectrometry (MS) and gas chromatography mass spectroscopy (GC-MS) specialized for silane and silane derivatives
  • Visual monitoring of exhaust and particle detection
  • Remote control of all facilities from safe control room
Pulver fra FSRKuler fra FBRSilisium fra sentrifugereaktor

From left: 1) Powder from free space reactor (FSR). 2) Particles from fluid bed reactor (FBR). 3) Silicon from centrifuge reactor

The silicon materials can be further analysed and characterized in:

Picture below: The Dynatec centrifuge reactor is being tested in the laboratory. Werner Filtvedt and Hallgeir Klette in front of the centrifuge reactor. (Photo: Dynatec AS)

Sentrifugereaktoren til Dynatec. Filtvedt og Klette