13 Mar '12, 4pm

Thinner silicon wafers could cut cost of solar cells in half #solar #technology

13 Mar 2012: Thinner Silicon Wafers Could Cut Solar Cell Costs in Half A U.S. company has developed a new manufacturing technique that it says could cut the cost of producing solar cells in half by producing silicon wafers that are about one-tenth as thick as conventional wafers. Twin Creeks Technologies , a San Jose-based company, says it can produce crystalline silicon wafers that are only 20 microns thin — or about one-fifth the thickness of a layer of paint — compared with the 200-micron wafers commonly used in solar cells. While the conventional technologies use diamond saws to cut blocks of silicon — a process that wastes about half of the silicon — the new process essentially embeds protons at a desired depth within a block of silicon and heats the protons so that they occupy more space. Eventually the company is able to crack off the thin, 20-micron wafers, after w...

Full article: http://e360.yale.edu/digest/thinner_silicon_wafers_could_...

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