SiN3D aims at providing a novel advanced ceramic material for the Photovoltaic industry which will be an important factor to substantially reduce solar silicon production costs. The pure silicon nitride hot-zone materials developed by CIFTJA will stand at the heart of the mono-crystallization process for solar silicon and will prove to be a game-changer for the mono-crystalline silicon technology providing a tool that would help the world to produce cheaper and more efficient solar energy, save enormous amounts of resources which are otherwise being wasted, and thus contributing to reduce carbon emissions and create a sustainable future.
Mono-Si production is carried out in Cz furnaces where the basic building material is high-purity graphite. The furnace “hot-zone” defines the structural and insulating parts inside of the vacuum chamber of a crystal grower. However, the graphite parts of the standard Cz hot-zone have several drawbacks: (i) they are a source of carbon contamination of silicon ingots which lowers the efficiency of solar cells, (ii) solid silicon carbide particles coming from the graphite parts cause structure loss of the silicon ingot, which then has to be discarded and reprocessed from the start (re-melt), (iii) due to corrosion with SiO gas, graphite parts have low life; (iv) requirements for very pure materials make them very expensive.
The solution to these disadvantages is by replacing most of the graphite parts with CIFTJA 3D printed inert silicon nitride ceramic materials.