Singulus Technologies has brought a new texturing process for the machining of multicrystalline solar wafers to production readiness.
Multicrystalline solar wafers are increasingly cut with diamond wire, which permits a markedly higher yield of wafers per block. The market for multicrystalline solar wafers is expected to continue to rise next year, with a growing proportion of wafers processed using diamond wire saws. This technology means the cost per wafer can be significantly reduced. Using this sawing technique is more environmentally friendly than the conventional slurry process, which involves a mixture of oil and silicon carbide. The sawing process damages the surface of the solar wafers; this is then processed by wet-chemical texturing. Texturing removes saw marks and produces a uniform, homogeneous structure. The new innovative manufacturing process from Singulus Technologies incorporates two distinct steps developed in-house: the use of new additives and the use of ozone for post-cleaning.
Dr.-Ing. Stefan Rinck, Chief Executive Officer, explained: “The texturing of solar wafers is a manufacturing step that has a major influence on the efficiency of the solar cell. We have equipped the innovative LINEX inline processing system for wet-chemical surface treatment with the new combined process, which means we can bring costs down significantly while also improving cell performance.”
The LINEX inline processing system features a newly developed conveyor system that guarantees extra-gentle handling of the solar wafers throughout the entire process and markedly reduces the breakage rate. In combination with the innovative process, the LINEX addresses a very sizable world market and represents the ideal solution for this manufacturing stage.