Effect of twin growth on unidirectional solidification control of multicrystal silicon for solar cells

Hirofumi Miyahara, Seiko Nara, Masayuki Okugawa, Keisaku Ogi

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    14 Citations (Scopus)


    The solidification microstructure and crystal orientation have been investigated for solar cell grade high purity multicrystal silicon through a unidirectional solidification technique. The mechanism of the twin growth on a reentrant corner has been also discussed. A columnar structure is observed at solidification velocities of 1.25-30μm/s and positive temperature gradient of 20K/cm in the rod-like silicon specimens in an electric resistance furnace. In the solidification velocity range of 1.25-2.5 μm/s, the grain size enlarges as solidification progresses. Furthermore, large columnar grains contain many twin boundaries. However, the average grain size decreases as the solidification velocity increases and above the critical velocity around 40 μm/s, equiaxed structure appears at the central part of specimens. Therefore, molten silicon must be solidified at the velocity below 2.5 μm/s where twins are always introduced into grains to obtain large columnar crystal grains. The undercooling for directional growth is less than 4 K in the solidification velocity range of 1.25-30 μm/s. A model of two-dimensional nucleation on the reentrant corner was established, and the critical nucleus could be estimated to be 70 to 80% of the radius of the general two-dimensional nucleus. The nucleation undercooling on the surface containing twins also decreased to 70% of the general undercooling. The reduction of the critical radius and undercooling on the reentrant corner could eventually influence on the priority growth direction and the enlargement of the grain size.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)935-943
    Number of pages9
    JournalMaterials Transactions
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 2005

    All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

    • Materials Science(all)
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Mechanics of Materials
    • Mechanical Engineering


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