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IS-AUR-Samarb.progr. Norge Frankrike

Fundamentals of Silicon nucleation and growth

Awarded: NOK 60,000

Photovoltaic (PV) solar energy is one of the key renewable energies that will play a major role towards an environment-friendly energy transition. Silicon based solar cells dominate the market with a share of about 90%. In order to make this technology more cost competitive and increase the energy conversion effciency, grain structure and defects control are major issues to be adressed. Both grain structure development and defects formation depend on the Si nucleation and growth mechanisms. Therefore, in this project we aim at understanding these fundamental aspects. One powerful method for deepening the understanding of the physical mechanisms involved in the crystallisation of Si is to carry out in situ crystalization experiments. IM2NP has used the combination of radiography and diffraction imaging (topography), crystalline orientation, strains and mechanical effects to follow in situ and in real-time the solidification of Si. NTNU has focused on pilot scale crystallization experiments and to understand the role of process parameters on the final silicon ingot microstructure, electrical properties and impurities distribution by using a combination of, among other advanced tools, SEM/EBSD and glow discharge mass spectrometry (GDMS). Therefore, the two groups in France (IM2NP) and Norway (NTNU) have similar expertise and complementary facilities. In this context, the primary objective of the present project is to strengthen the Cooperation between NTNU and IM2NP through a scientific project on silicon nucleation and growth. This will involve the exchange of students and researchers. The secondary objectives are i) to study the nucleation mechanisms on the coating used in industrial quartz crucibles and the subsequent growth mechanisms; and ii) to investigate the nucleation of Si on silicon nitride crucibles, which have been suggested to give better properties since they give less oxygen contamination and can be reused several times (thus lowering the costs).

Funding scheme:

IS-AUR-Samarb.progr. Norge Frankrike